Strong and strident beat patterns with subtle key changes and bold 303 strokes.
Unsurprising, Lux Rec’s sub label set the bar pretty high with its first releases. MRT was born with 12”s from the talented upstart that is Benedikt Frey with an incredible piece of grisly synth by Tuning Circuits. Now the Swiss imprint is calling on a new name to join the sub-division: Dream Weapons.
I thought I hadn’t come across the work of Aggelos Baltas before, but a bit of digging proved me wrong. Baltas released an IDM infused techno 12” as Faint Object on the excellent Lower Parts a year or two back. The style pursued for Reach Dystopia is quite different. The title piece is a strange beast. Its exotic qualities are down to the fact it’s both familiar and foreign. Burbling bass and a steady 4/4 are used a scaffold from which trilling bars and cascades of distortion can flow for a wonderfully tactile track. “Spiral Down” takes on a more menacing mood. A dark and dingy acid line, one brimming with Chicago sweat, is tempered by a soaring synth line. Clipped percussion keeps time as strands of house and techno are interwoven. The full transformation to rampaging savage comes with the flip. Walloping bass drums introduce the blistering brilliance of “Feed On Acid.” Some work of 303 pastiche you are not going to find here. Instead a powerful cascade of chords, claps and corrosive hi-hats engulfs speakers.
The cliché claims actions speak louder than words. Since Reach Dystopia arrived it’s been living on my turntables. Again and again it’s come out to be enjoyed and mixed. I guess my view has been laid bare by the old axiom. Strong and strident beat patterns with subtle key changes and bold 303 strokes for an EP that no doubt I’ll love for years to come.
Reach Dystopia is available on MRT.