Italian techno producer and Mannequin label boss Alessandro Adriani only released his debut 12” ‘Guerilla Warfare’ under his own name on Pinkman last year, but in the last twelve months he’s issued an impressive amount of material, including his first album ‘Montagne Trasparenti’ on Monofonus Press. This latest 12” EP ‘Enter The Fire’ marks Adriani’s first release for Stroboscopic Artefacts and offers up four new tracks that see him combining a raw dancefloor techno approach with elements of darkwave and EBM.
On the A-side, ‘He Who Harnesses The Souls’ kicks things open with what’s arguably this EP’s most streamlined offering, sending dry-sounding snare fills and reverberating percussion rattling against moody, slightly muted bass sequences, as whip-crack offbeats crash between the speakers and vaporous background hisses heighten the tension. There’s an emphasis on filters and delay treatments, with the icily jittering melodic arpeggios that rise into the foreground during the second half suggesting a wander into brighter territory that’s no less chilly and robotic.
The EBM-tinged undercurrent percolating beneath the rhythms becomes even more explicit on the ‘707 EBM Version’ of ‘Rituals’ as pounding 4/4 kickdrums and stacked handclaps snap against evil-sounding distorted bass arpeggios, background emergency alert tones and eerie dubbed out noises in a manner that calls to mind Front 242. Elsewhere, the ‘Original 808 Version’ of the same track strips things right back, ushering in a more spacious glide through spidery broken snares, ominous background vocal manipulation and what sounds like a plucked guitar sample that’s easily the most minimalist and fluttering detour here.
Finally, ‘Astronomy’ closes this EP by dropping the pressure down, sending an aluminum-light percussion pulse skipping against metallic reverberating tones and echoing pitch-slowed handclaps as the whirring machinery that murmurs away in the background begins to resolve into sharp focus – indeed it’s the closest that things get to ambient techno here. Well worth investigation.