Cyclic Defrost

An Australian magazine focusing on interesting music

Posthuman – Monsters & Vortices EP (B12)

Posthuman

Manchester born and now London-based, cousins Richard Bevan and Josh Doherty have been making music together as Posthuman for around a decade, a period during which they’ve managed to release three albums as well as several EPs, their beginning efforts aided by Manchester’s Skam label. While Posthuman’s preceding 2006 album ‘The People’s Republic’ on the duo’s own Seed label saw them venturing further into post-rock and instrumental elements, this latest four track 12” EP ‘Monsters & Vortices’, their first for B12, represents a considerably different beast, with the contents leaning predominantly towards dark, stripped down techno. ‘Krill’ opens proceedings here with its sights placed firmly in buzzing, android techno territory akin to one of Audion’s dark assembly-line expeditions as it fuses saw-toothed analogue synth rave riffs to razor-sharp snare programming and all manner of menacing ambient pads.

While the former track is easily the most ferocious moment on offer here, ‘Callisto’ manages to give it a pretty good run for its money, sending jacking Stanley knife hi-hats sliding over an ominous backdrop of lurking sub-bass pads, factory sweeps and dark, gothy synth riffs that manage to carry more than a stray hint of Kill Memory Crash’s dark Euro-EBM leanings. If things are getting a little too gritty at this point, ‘Monsters Exist’s sees things getting a little more woozy and hypnotic, with blurry dub-techno elements competing for space with crisp, house-loaded rhythms – though tellingly, the faint edge of menace is never really far away, with the distant roar of what sounds like battling monsters leaking into the mix at points. It’s closing track ‘The Karman Vortices’ that really provides the biggest surprise here though, with the duo eschewing dancefloor-centric techno influences in favour of contemplative downbeat ambience, and indeed it clearly shows that it’s anyone’s question as to where Posthuman will venture next. There’s also an additional reworking of the same track by Bevan under his Digitonal alias included with the digital download version of this EP, making this another impressive offering from the ever unpredictable Posthuman that’s well worth investigation.

Chris Downton

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Cyclic Defrost is Australia’s only specialist electronic music magazine. We cover independent electronic music, avant-rock, experimental sound art and leftfield hip hop. Read more

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