Terrace :: Phosphenes (De:Tuned)

If Phosphenes is your introduction, you’re in luck as you’ve just come across one of the premier machine music craftsmen of the last three decades through a generously proportioned EP that showcases his immense abilities. My advice, get digging as you will find gold from a man who shaped the golden age of techno.

Stefan Robbers was part of my electronic music schooling. I first came across the Eindhoven artist on A13’s Experimenta compilation, a CD I sourced somewhere online as a youngster and lost along the way to adulthood. I followed Robbers and continue to do so. He has led me through his deep and diverse Florence moniker, guided me with his Eevolute Muzique label and educated me with his richly patterned work as Terrace. It’s to this pseudonym that the Dutchman returns, this time offering up new material with Phosphenes.

Four tracks make up this latest endeavor, with a certain motor city being a central influence in the opener. “Funktroit” is born to a steady kick drum on top of which layers of bass, bleep and pads are draped. An underlying energy runs through the track, an energy that is maneuvered and moulded into a variety of currents and streams without ever being unnecessarily unleashed. Although “Expectations” starts in a similar fashion to “Funktroit,” difference soon become clearly apparent. A bending groove rises, surfacing in ripples before crystallizing into thick shards of rumbling bass. The flip introduces “For A While,” music that is climates and continents apart from the A-Side. Mechanical crickets chirp in rains of resonance with drums punctuating this midnight chorus. Robbers allows these organic tones to ebb and flow, adding steel shaven scores and inching hi-hits to a superbly engaging piece of electronics. Acidic streaks form on the pulsing rhythms of the finale. “Velocity” adopts dub decay and driving percussion for the most DJ minded cut of the quartet.

For almost thirty years the name Terrace has been associated with electronic music of the finest quality, music that ranges from full blooded dancefloor funk to thought-provoking armchair immersions. My introduction to this electronic Eindhovener began years ago and has continued since. If Phosphenes is your introduction, you’re in luck as you’ve just come across one of the premier machine music craftsmen of the last three decades through a generously proportioned EP that showcases his immense abilities. My advice, get digging as you will find gold from a man who shaped the golden age of techno.

Phosphenes is available on De:Tuned.

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