It could just be me getting older, but I’ve noticed a growing popularity for techno events with relatively sober punters and conservative closing hours. You might call it the Plastic People effect - a version of clubbing in which people are content to let the music carry them; they dance if they feel to, but it’s not a necessity. 511593, the long awaited debut album from Susanne Kirchmayr aka Electric Indigo, seems to have tapped into this one-foot-in-the-club approach. The album drifts between pointed warehouse abstractions, mottled ambience and well-tempered hybrids of each, nightlife soundtracks recalled with varying levels of lucidity.
The album features rusted impressionist monoliths such as dank ambient thriller ‘Second Organ’, or the sun-blushed modulations of ‘Darcy In Paradise’. However it also includes head-scrambling scaffold techno like on ‘Ntandathu’ or ‘Sept’, a track repackaged from Kirchmayr’s excellent Het-released ‘Seven’ EP. Then there are offerings like ‘Trois’, a wickedly slurred take on something like ‘Autobahn’ meets Anne-James Chaton. Clinical diagnosis readings fall into line alongside shattered glass percussion and caustic melodies.
There’s often an inclination to term music of this nature as ‘dark’ or ‘foreboding’, yet what I hear is an album teeming with energy and an eagerness to explore. This is made all the more impressive by the fact Kirchmayr has been releasing music as Electric Indigo since 1993; indeed it’s hard to believe the author of adrenaline-pumped speed-acid of ‘Skyway’ or ‘No Headroom’ is the same as that of 511593.
Asking her about her distinct meeting of granular experimentalism and roughshod techno rhythms in 2015, she said: “I feel that I have to go further - I’m not there yet.” The destination may well have been reached here; she has tackled something often attempted, yet rarely carried off so successfully.