Label: Prosthetic Pressings
Release Date: 02/02/2015
New York based producer Greg Schappert, aka Donor is perhaps best known for his forbidding analogue experiments with Truss (or MPIA3). Their joint efforts have seen a healthy release catalogue develop, the combination of their slightly off-kilter approaches to techno resonating with those looking for something more raw and adventurous.
Recently however, Schappert’s efforts have set on producing his debut LP, Against All. This is an album with which he seems to have pinpointed and amplified those factors most defining of his previous work.
Arguably, Against All’s greatest forte lies in it’s ability to remain club-ready whilst still providing something of the unexpected. Perhaps this is down to Donor’s deviation from conventional 4/4 percussion. ‘Fault Is Found’ or follower ‘Own Exile’ calling to mind Objekt’s frenetic percussive workouts with their close-knit kick patterns and nagging hi-hats. ‘Menace Is Mine’ is similarly abstract in its approach, exchanging snares for rasping breath-like textures, indistinct and mechanical alongside Donor’s rumbling drone of low-end.
His unremitting use of sub-frequencies is another constant throughout the LP. Even those tracks where penetrating kicks seem to be the driving influence - they are often forced to blast through a wall of similarly resounding bass textures. ‘Calling’ sees this technique used in the most extreme as the track rises in intensity with the aid of Donor’s swarming percussion and vapourous soundscapes. In other places the effect is put to more subtle use - ‘Station A14’s stuttered kicks rolling between resonating high-end and sidechained low-end, swelling ominously.
An interplay between dense rhythms and thick, fog-like atmospheres has been a constant of Schappert’s work until this point, giving his releases a disorientating, claustrophobic aesthetic. This signature has been delivered with great skill and creativity here, Against All aligning a range of different approaches to techno with rare grace.