Label: Stroboscopic Artefacts
Release Date: 18/02/13
Stroboscopic Artefacts seem to release full length works cautiously, a somewhat surprising fact seeing as their beat centric Monad series boasts a healthy thirteen editions since the labels inception in 2009. You Are Eternity by Italian duo Daniele Antezza and Giovanni Conti aka Dadub, comprises only the third album format release for the Berlin based label, but proves the labels selectivity when releasing full length works isn’t without reason. The pair now residing in Berlin have been long standing affiliates of the label, so it seems fitting that they have been ingratiated as Stroboscopic mainstays by the release.
The album strikes a midpoint between two of the labels most successful ventures, the raw, industrial techno frequented in the aforementioned Monad series, with the rich, ambient textures crafted over the labels recent ly concluded, four part Stellate series. Whilst at times the dark, aggressive textures constructed by the pair can verge on overbearing, the consistency at which they build and maintain the intensity through the album is impressive, and makes it hard to turn your attention elsewhere. Beat-led albums can often feel like a mixture of mediocrities interspersed with a few standout tracks, however the focus on You Are Eternity feels much more equally spread, and its attraction lies in its ability to stick together as a complete listening experience.
Dadub’s droning atmospheres run relentlessly throughout the entirety of the album, overlaying each track, and blurring the lines between where each starts and finishes.There is an analogue warmth to these, as well as to the cavernous kicks and grating hi-hats frequented by the duo. Their gritty distortions and dubby echos add an organic quality, a feature often lacking in music existing within the experimental electronic bracket. I have read previously that Shackleton goes through individual drum samples altering their variables so they are all completely unique, and although the results are fairly imperceptible they contribute towards giving his productions a more humanistic feel to them. I can imagine a similar process has been taken through You are Eternity; the ferocious tribal rhythms used on tracks such as ‘Path’ or ‘Arrival’ feel as if they could have been recorded live.
The Shackleton comparison is cemented more firmly by the spoken word samples that make up the basis of tracks such as ‘Vibration’, ‘Truth’ or ‘Death’. Often spoken word samples can feel overused of even cliché in the techno format (a trait parodied by Marc Houle on his track ‘Techno Vocals’), yet the album is so cinematic, in this case it would feel lacking without them; their use is sparse, atmospheric and subtle, rather than overly repetitive, or used as a cheap hook.
The album manages to remain gimmick-less and overall incredibly dignified for the duration, even through manic percussive excursions such as ‘Transfer’. Occurring midway through the album, the track creates perhaps the most climactic point of You Are Eternity, with help from Ninja Tune affiliate King Cannibal, a producer no stranger to chaotic and distorted rhythms.
Dadub’s inclusion of tracks like ‘Transfer’ or ‘Life’, are warranted all the more by the fact the pair have the maturity to use these tracks sparingly, making them all the more effective in doing so. You Are Eternity neither sells itself to the dancefloor nor waters down its content to some sort of easy-listening ‘background’ music, which is a bold move in itself.