Spanish-born, now Berlin based electronic producer Manuel Anós first introduced his Psyk alias to the world with his 2009 ‘Quimic’ EP, and since then he’s remained consistently prolific, amassing an impressively large backcatalogue of 12” releases in the intervening years on labels including Mote-Evolver, Drumcode and Tresor.
Five years on from his impressive debut album ‘Time Foundation’, this long awaited follow-up ‘A Moment Before’ represents a natural progression, and sees his taking his dark techno-centred productions in an increasingly vast yet stripped-down direction. Comparisons have frequently been made between Psyk and Robert Hood’s pared-back production style in the past, and while they’re certainly valid to an extent here, there’s a far greater sense of overall ‘maximality’ here, with each sonic element blown up to monolithic proportions.
In this respect, it’s really upon headphone listening that the nine tracks collected here exert their full effect, with the rhythmic elements and synths looming like vast objects in the streamlined darkness. ‘Untitled’ opens proceedings with a vast stereo sweep of buzzing synths that suddenly gets tossed through filtering effects as huge dark bass notes drop into the mix, the entire track building into a mass of swelling drones as echoing crackles reverberate through the mix.
From there though, it’s straight down into the beats as ‘A Moment Before’ sends staccato percussion rattling against clipped-sounding hi-hats and dark juddering bass sequences, the muted kickdrums almost sounding like they’re underwater as massive distorted synths writhe and squeal in the background, in what’s easily one of the most serrated moments on offer here. While it’s certainly dark and hard stuff, there’s an almost hypnotic sense of flow often at work here.
‘Panic Attack’ lives up to its title as urgent 4/4 kickdrums and whirring hi-pitched electronics build up the levels of tension, the distorted phased effects in the background seeming to suck all of the available oxygen out of the track, while elsewhere ‘Peace Of Mind’ sees echoing distorted growls calling to mind some vast alien intelligence attempting communication as glittering sequences flicker through the mix against fluttering techno rhythms. This one’s one hell of a deep dive, and fans of Tresor won’t be disappointed. Well worth seeking out.