(08.17.07) There can be few more exciting times than opening up a record filled package
with “Detroit” as the return address. The home of techno, and automobiles,
is still true to its name, dishing up some of the choicest cuts of techno
even today. In 1995 a new Detroit act emerged from the underworld,
Ultradyne. They released the E Coli EP on Warp Records, amidst rumours
that this might be Drexiya or UR. In fact Ultradyne were a new outfit,
Dennis Richardson and Alexandres Lugo. Since their inception the duo have
remained quite mysterious, releasing one time EP’s here and there on
different imprints. In 1999 Pi Gao Movement was born, an Ultradyne run
imprint; now the guys had the means of getting their brand of Detroit techno
out there. Ultradyne have returned from the shadows once more with a 12″
record in hand, the ominously entitled Wrath of the Almighty.
“Be Machine” gets the record rolling as a ghost train of rumbles and sound
careens into a den of abrasive beats and distorted vocodes. Tortured synth
lines are laid over the sliced snares as electro crime and brutality pour
from the speakers. A powerful opener, emblematic of the murky city from
which it originated. The distortion moves on into “Lamentation.” The Detroit
duo stretch and warp the synth lines, adding crisp beats and bass stomps.
The squalor and anguish of “Be Machine” are replaced with an impressive
tweaking of vintage electro sound. The sharp drums and melancholic echoes of
background synth are expertly tuned together to create a sombre piece that
is still dancefloor.
Shattered electro vocals bring the B-Side to life as “We Are Eternal – The
Return Of The Five” bounders in. The beats are hard hitting and corrupted. A
melody of manipulation stirs in the background as computer ghoul lyrics
grate once more into the piece. The beats border on the industrial with
their mechanical shunts and breaks; a horror story in a Detroit car factory.
“Agony – Be Still” finishes up this four-tracker. Beats are the birthplace
of this number. Warped synthesizers coerce the backdrop, but remain behind
the 808s. There is a claustrophobic quality to this track, the meshing of
melody, bass and beat creating a bitter and brilliant techno work.
Ultradyne have produced an intense piece of Detroit with Wrath of the
Almighty. The paranoia, the grit, the grime, the industrial landscape and
the speed all associated with Michigan’s capital have been captured on this
slab of wax. The team of Richardson and Lugo have created a record that not
only has the techno/electro history of Detroit, but a record that has their
own stamp on an urban and psychological sound.
Wrath of the Almighty is out now on Pi Gao Movement.