Label: Electric Deluxe
Release Date: 28/10/2013
Berlin based artists Sawlin & Subjected have been a rather deadly combination in the past, contributing a slew of records to Subjected’s own ‘Vault Series’ imprint. Listening through their individual releases it isn’t hard to see why they are so effective together - both displaying a penchant for darkly mechanical Techno. The latest release on Speedy J’s Electric Deluxe see’s the pair join forces once again, delivering a hazy three track EP entitled ‘Foreign Awake Pt.1’.
The duo have clearly given some serious consideration to the outlet of their latest release, channeling their sound towards the slow-burning warehouse Techno Electric Deluxe has become known for. There are also some more direct parallels to be drawn between this release and Hans Bouffmyhre’s 12” which populated the label most recently, namely in the mediation struck between hard-hitting dancefloor percussion and deeper atmospheric textures.
Intoxicating high-end atmospheres and shuddering low-end make up the basis of opener ‘Texture 3’, the lack of mid-range textures giving the track a sense of weightlessness. Vapourous shuffled hi-hats echo between barely discernible arpeggios, subtly carving out structure through the track.
The sense of uneasy displacement throughout the track is something also common to the EPs subsequent offerings, perhaps caused by the absence of snares. Whilst this may not seem like a massive omission, it leaves the listener with a sense of discomfort as Sawlin & Subjected’s earthshaking rhythms feel totally ungrounded.
This disquieted feeling is palpable through ‘Texture 4’, as jarring kick drums puncture the layers of gaseous ambience. A shrill melodic riff runs the duration of the track, with noisey high-end percussion serving to increase the tension even more.
Perhaps the most straight forward offering on the release is it’s closer, ‘Texture 2’s distinctive kick drum pattern giving the track a much more conventional sense of groove. Off-beat tom drums also go some way in filling the gap left my the lack of snares, as delicate, enchanting melodies dance across the track’s eight minute duration.
‘Foreign Awake Pt.1’ highlights a versatility in Sawlin & Subjected’s efforts in its deviation from their usual affront, industrial edged take on Techno. Here they opt for something much subtle and gradually evolving, leaving us with my anticipation for the release’s next component, ‘Foreign Awake Pt.2’.