Bas Mooy's label drops its most adventurous release yet. Paul Birken has been operating at the fringes of techno for years and puts out the kind of rough analogue music that would make the industrial art school boys shiver with fear. Distorted drums, intense and in your face volleys of percussion set the scene on this three-tracker. "Big Rig Barnacle" displays some musical leanings via its woozy chords and "Funnel Fiends" goes the opposite way thanks to its acid emissions. But the best thing about Birken is his sheer unpredictability and "Repeat Offender" sounds like a hard techno arrangement pulled apart, distorted to the max and then randomly reassembled.
Issued on Moerbeck's label, Mute takes the listener back to early / mid-90s techno. "Have You Ever Had A Dream" conjures up feelings of wide-eyed wonder and fear, like an innocent stumbling upon Sven Vaeth's Omen residency for the first time. This is achieved through an airy ambient intro, followed by thundering beats, skull-rattling percussion and then some unintelligible background ramblings. The title track dispenses with any pleasantries and oozes menace as concrete kicks and cheese-wire percussion take hold. Only when it breaks down to a vocal that asserts 'everything is swimming in silence' does a human element become apparent. "Sabotage" and "Lost Signal" are decent, acid-soaked tracks, but neither captures the naked ferocity of the first half of Mute.