Since he first emerged under his ‘Escape From New York’-inspired alias Unit Black Flight back in 2004 with his debut album ‘Escape From Indianapolis’, Los Angeles-based electronic producer Bryan Lane has been an elusive character, reappearing every four years or so with an new EP, before seemingly slipping back off into the shadows. Five years on from his preceding ‘Tracks From The Trailer’ collection (which now fetches some hefty prices on Discogs), this latest 12” EP on Giallo Disco ‘Evocations’ collects together four new tracks alongside two remixes. While the cover art suggests suggests a pulp horror novel though, the predominant mood here leans more towards dark analogue-driven electro splattered with Italo house and techno influences – think more Alexander Robotnik than ‘Suspiria.’
Opening track ‘Preternatural Convergence’ places a thick electro-funk bass line against punching 4/4 house rhythms, delayed-out handclaps and icily ominous minor-key synth arpeggios, the combination of writhing muscular grooves and tense uneasiness calling to mind the likes of Arnaud Rebotini or The Hacker. ‘Immaterial Reality’ meanwhile gets more spooky and spacious as ambient background tones drone against spidery drum-machine snare fills and fat squelchy analogue sequences, the dryness of the 808 kicks nicely counterpointing the near-acid cycling arpeggios, before ‘Imprint Manifestation’ offers up what’s easily this EP’s most John Carpenter-influenced moment as eerie tentative synths trail against a slow distorted bass pulse, noodling Moog tones and mechanically crisp 4/4 kickdrums – at this point, you’re practically expecting Kurt Russell to make an appearance.
Elsewhere, the two remixes included here manage to liven things up considerably, with fellow LA-based producer Umberto offering up a reworking of ‘Preternatural Convergence’ that pushes things more towards darkhearted EBM atmospheres, as thumping rhythms power away beneath sinister arpeggios and ominously whirring machine tones, before Antoni Maiovvi smoothly picks up the baton with his streamlined, analogue electronics fuelled remix of ‘Immaterial Reality’ as distant guitar feedback squeals beneath layers of glassy sounding melodic synths, the shuffling house rhythms powering off into the distance against ricocheting snare fills, in what’s easily the most Italo flavoured dancefloor moment here. While it doesn’t exactly rewrite the rulebook, ‘Evocations’ contains plenty of dark-hued analogue electro / house thrills.