Coming off the back of last year’s Crossed Paths LP and the blippy Cold Light EP this year, Shifted’s latest album Under A Single Banner moves further into the depths of abrasive atmospheric, almost organic techno. Recent years have seen the resurgence of the kind of bleak industrial futurism that prevailed in the early 90s with all the aesthetics of James Cameron’s Terminator 2 – all bone crushing grinding machines, hammers and fire. These days Emptyset carry it off with their precision deployments, along with the Stroboscopic Artefacts roster.
But this album from Shifted is different. The precision mechanics of the machine are replaced with a dank, damp, decayed fug hangs over everything in a bass rumble and ever present echo. Its a mood akin to the wet, cold claustrophobia of Cameron’s other 80s smash Aliens.
Its quite a voyage with only Pulse Incomplete and Contract 0 offering easy dancefloor rhythms. My pick, though, is the earlier pair of tracks- Chrome, Canopy & Bursting Heart with its bottom end menace and Suspended Inside whose multiple off kilter rhythmic sounds – beats, bass, clicks, and pings – fold together towards collapse.