Belgian label Token has been one of the finest techno labels of 2012, and Kr!z imprint rounds out the year in style on Unity. The work of Danish producer Ctrls, the sound appears to be almost simplistic at times, but in reality it's a highly complex set of arrangements. "Analogue Lies" sees dense drums struggling to be heard over the din created by static interference and crackling percussion, while "Evident Mechanics" is based on mechanical rhythms, whip-crack electronic riffs and an insistent robot vocal. Best of all though is "Limited Competition", where a squeaky metallic stab is combined with lo-fi drums.
Token never does things the conventional way and this release by Ctrls is testament to the Belgian label's championing of unorthodox techno. While "Socket" is a peak time affair, powered by a rhythm that is lean and functional, cavernous soundscapes threaten to submerge it. On "Social Vector", a pacey funk bassline is in the foreground, but whirring and clicking away in the left field are shards of glitchy percussion and unexpected stops and starts. "Encrypted Sex" completes the package and here too Ctrls don't forsake experimentation, with a sawing bass supporting subtle percussive elements and a series of drops.
It's been a busy year for Belgian imprint Token, with killer EPs coming from Rodhad, Xhin, Inigo Kennedy and the impending album from O [Phase]. Ctrls now presents his third EP for the label and matches his Northern Structures studio buddy Lasse Buhl with solo releases this year. As usual Ctrls has his Vermona drum machine cranking full tilt with the two tracks "Modular Framework" and "Displacer", with the latter reworked twice by Sleeparchive who turns it into something a little more stripped back and caustic. The Token techno machine marches on!
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