- Szare has recently found himself emerging from the shroud of anonymity as a key figure in Horizontal Ground, a perhaps unexpected move that has seen him go so far as to found a new and pseudo-eponymous label in Syndrome Z. His latest release is an appearance on burgeoning Bristol house label Idle Hands, and though the days of 188.8.131.52.5 are gone his techno remains as smooth and as swung as ever.
In keeping with Idle Hands' increasingly moody and hushed output the two tracks here are restrained and almost comatose in their ghostly pallor. "Action Five" is full-on whisper techno, every element donning the same shade of grey for a beat that sounds like it's made out of tape hiss. The kicks and snares sound like fingers gently knocking on dusty wood, and the bass becomes softly muffled for a sensation that's oddly comforting even as the beat contorts in Szare's usual jarring angles. Bringing things back up to a more recognizable volume, "Volya" is still pretty skeletal, but has a stronger kick and a harder groove more compatible with bangers like "Snake Cave." Not content with just a solid framework, Szare sneaks in an occluded, muffled (again) sample that gets knotted and tangled in with the lopsided beat, adding a shade of the avant to an otherwise purely functional structure.
B Action Five