Laica – Puls (Rano)

Music writer and producer Laica has come up with the goods on ‘Puls’, a tape containing two sides of reverberant cellar techno.

Side one contains ‘Puls (Complete)’ a brilliant piece of propulsive nocturnal electronica.  The sound design is excellent; drifting palls of fuzz, like smoke from a fire enshrouds everything in a thin sonic fog; there are also gaping drops into echoing dub chasms, and percussive snaps popping like bubbles, causing ripples to bounce up against beats and bass in a constant pattern of harmonious disruption.  The production is thick with detail, a feast for the ears, a parade of racing activity under an overcast sky and an ever-present drizzle of static; shards of garbled MCs, smeared guitars, gusts of brass, and a pulsing bass heartbeat.  Gripping throughout its twenty minute duration, it has a real dynamic flux and shift which at times recalls Wolfgang Voight’s Gas, but with that project’s doom-house aesthetic shot through with an urban noir bounce: music for wet streets and littered subways rather than history-soaked German forests.

The second side ‘Puls (2nd Step, 1st Link)’ is a more aggressive prospect; a rattling machine gun attack.  Beats slip like a violently tugged chain through an iron loop.  A burbling chemistry set of rancid semi-industrial electronics fill the track with turbulence and glitch.  This is an assault in stark contrast to the preceding track’s seduction.  It eventually explores relatively more placid areas but even here a bulbous tension is evident, twitching beneath a deceptively still surface.

‘Puls’ is a fiercely engaging work, clashing techno up against ambient sound art in a gripping display of artistic and compositional skill.

Purchase the album here.

Read ‘We Are Darkfloor’ here.

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