Polish techno producer Martyna Maja Wieczorek has cultivated a reputation for ferociously punishing EBM-hewn rhythms through her residency at Warsaw’s Brutaz events over the last couple of years, and now this 12” EP ‘Self Will’ on new Berlin label Intrepid Skin offers up Wieczorek’s debut release under her VTSS alias. ‘Uncompromising’ is probably the best description for the four tracks collected here, which borrow as much from gabber and breakcore as they do jack-booted EBM techno and hardcore.
‘Linked’ slams the listener straight into the centre of the action and pressurised snares hiss against pounding 4/4 kickdrums and rapid-fire volleys of metallic percussion, the thundering rhythms dropping away only to be replaced by an eerie web of icy bleeps before everything surges back in like a clenched fist. While there’s an emphasis on unrelenting claustrophobia and visceral mechanics, it’s the level of detail and sound design that really impresses here as the textural layers flicker in and out of the mix.
‘Self Will’ gets more spacious but no less toxic as distorted snares crash and stutter against pummeling bass kicks and urgent waspy synths heighten the sense of tension, the distorted electronics nearing the redline towards the track’s end, before ‘Versatility’ unleashes what’s perhaps this EP’s most accessible moment as sampled vocals get pitched down and ripped to shreds against a backbone of relentlessly hammering 4/4 kicks and staccato bursts of synth noise, the splashing snares that enter towards the end driving everything to a peak. As a first taste of VTSS’ firepower, ‘Self Will’ is one wild and impressive ride.