Enigmatic techno producer Patrick Conway only emerged last year with his debut ‘Sandy Lane’ EP on REKIDS, and in the absence of more information I’m assuming that he hails from somewhere in the UK – but more on this later. This latest 12” EP on his own Black Orpheus label ‘Orpheus006’ sees Conway offering up three new tracks alongside a remix from Detroit producer Fit Siegel.
On the A-side, the Original Mix of ‘Stab City’ opens this EP with a wander down into finely detailed midtempo techno that’s shaded with distinctly Detroit-tinged hues, as a texturally dense interplay of hi-hats, handclaps and kickdrums rolls beneath blooms of ambient and an insistent melodic refrain that calls to mind a harmonica more than anything else, lending the entire track a curiously latin feel. Interestingly, the track ends with a sample of a woman saying “First, Brexit needs Brexit”, followed by a gunshot – guaranteed to rouse you straight out of any lulling haze that you might have fallen into at this point.
If the original mix of ‘Stab City’ focuses on lulling mechanical repetition, Fit Siegel’s dark electro reworking makes a good case for being the standout highlight here, sending evil robotic vocals gliding against spidery drum machine beats, bleeping electronics and machine whirs that evoke the powerloader from ‘Aliens’ more than anything else as they arc and howl in the background.
On the flipside, ‘Blurred Cognition’ tosses a breakstep flavour into proceedings, draping vaporous female vocal samples over a glittering backdrop of airy percussion and dewy soft focus pads before suddenly smashing an offstep breakbeat worthy of Shy FX straight into the middle of everything, resulting in a retro-tinged ambient junglist excursion that conjures up nostalgic memories of the likes of Moving Shadow and Omni Trio.
Lastly, ‘Rule 110’ closes things with what’s easily this EP’s most stomping techno offering, sending 4/4 kickdrums galloping against taut shaker percussion down into a dark swirl of looming sub-bass pressure and chilling distorted synth atmospheres that sees powerline-like buzzes surging like a power station in the throes of destruction in the foreground. Fans of darker-hued techno are certainly well catered for on this impressive EP from Patrick Conway, who looks to be a name to watch, regardless of where he’s from.