Gesetz Der Oktaven – Semen Contra EP (Third Ear Recordings)


German electronic producer Hanno Leichtmann describes his new Gesetz Der Oktaven project as being influenced by classic electronic dance artists such Liasons Dangereuses and DAF, and there’s certainly a palpable EBM-centred feel to the five muscular tracks that comprise this debut 12” EP ‘Semen Contra.’ ‘Stellwerk’ opens proceedings with a dark wander out into eerie cycling synth tones and fluttering snares that sees huge doomy chords adding a moody sense of drama that’s nicely heightened by the abrasive industrial samples that roll in the background as bright synth arpeggios pulse urgently.

If there’s a relentlessly mechanistic techno glide to the aforementioned track, ‘Semen Contra’ gets even darker and grittier as a snaking EBM bass sequence buzzes like a swarm of bees against jacking techno rhythms and industrial percussion fills, the entire track breaking down into a mass of burbling analogue electronics before powering off again amidst eerie background atmospheres. Elsewhere, ‘Sensor’ brings the electro influences back to the forefront as taut drum machine rhythms rattle against punching kickdrums and fat synth funk bass, the dubbed out rumbles and vocal fragments in the background adding just the right level of creepiness to the fat grooves, before ‘Verpolung’ closes this EP off with what’s easily its most peaktime-oriented moment as icy ambient synths trail cinematically over a tightly coiled backbone of surging bass arpeggiation and hammering kickdrums that suggests a post-Hawtin take on Nitzer Ebb more than anything else. The fact that Leichtmann apparently recorded this entire analogue set live in realtime with no plugins just makes this EP even more impressive.


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