Minimalism can sometimes re-appear as the strangest thing. On the face of it, it will appear simple, understated, almost in danger of losing an audience to its complete lack of, well, anything. Underneath that surface, though, lurk the myriad ideas and idiosyncrasies of the artist and viewer/listener themselves. And as the minimal tag creeps back into the vernacular – this time in discussion surrounding techno – so the ideas about the lines between simplicity and complication again become entwined.
Heartthrob has asked that we lump him with the current wave of Minimal Techno currently swathing its thin, tweaked-out beat-brush over the European club canvas. And it seems he’ asked this of us because of that fashionable wave or maybe because its just easier to fit in when you’ve already attached a tag to yourself. Originally from New York, Heartthrob’ Jesse Siminski currently calls Paris home and has released Dear Painter, Paint Me through German imprint M-nus. And while Heartthrob is adept at raising the roof off a club or making muddy a distant woodland rave, this disc puts him half way between those monster beats and quieter, more early morning territory. The beats are sharp-pointed and prick pins into thick warbling walls of bass, the keyboard lines are like something straight out of any late 80′ warehouse rave but with something of that distilled and softly mechanised soundplay. Like the inside of your computer is having its keys and strings pressed and plucked while it thuds and snaps rhythmically over the top.
While nothing overly progressive occurs on the disc, Heartthrob manages to bring together all the best elements of techno: throbbing beats and a great sense of being able to shift pressure and feel where appropriate. Couple this with tired, wired hedonism that largely infects the minimal techno of today and you’ve got a pretty accomplished release.