Forward Strategy Group return to Perc Trax with a new EP entitled The New Formal.
Welcome to Separate Mind, a new monthly column on Juno Plus that aims to cover techno music in its many hues and shades. In an era when every minor development, each tone or tweak to a kick drum is compartmentalised into a new micro-genre, Separate Mind takes the opposite approach. This column will keep its coverage as open-ended as possible, lending support to releases on the basis of whether or not the music deserves it and not because it fits into a narrative arrived at by consensus among so-called influencers.
Will industrial suffer the same fate in 2012 as minimal did in 2006-7 and become synonymous with imagination-free bandwagon jumpers? Certainly the growth in the number of producers and outlets – including labels and media – who cite everything from Downwards to Throbbing Gristle as key influences is startling, especially in light of the fact that these converts include established names.
FSG pick up where their killer debut left off and deliver another EP of bass heavy, experimental, modern techno. Out on their own imprint, “Applied Generics” combines a totally fresh and unique sound with the spirit of industrial techno to bring the kind of record that acts like Sandwell District, Basic Channel, MDR and Hardwax Techno Axis have been forging in the fires of underground techno.
The Glasgow based outfit burrow deeper and deeper into their smoggy brand of UK industrial techno. Splitting the disciplines of Berlin minimalism and dark-wave techno from the UK, FSG find their own sound in their combination of sinister tonal shifts and robust techno mechanics.
“Applied Generics A” lingers with a dystopian spirit and hollowed temper that is evoked by barbed synth lines that brood in the background as a skanking tech beat shifts along the soundscape of a radioactive fallout. “Applied Generics B” is still lost in the murky underbelly of this dark environment but this time lets a pounding beat escape into the little air the track is afforded. Barely audible noises combine with raw patterns of hi-hats and snares whilst a struggling melody can’t quite the power to breakdown the industrial sound. Continuing with a thumping 4/4 “Applied Generics D” plays out over coarsely textured rhythms that cause frictions with deep, mechanical synth stabs. Bringing the EP to a close, “Applied Generics C” has a raw, bass heavy sound with a vicious attitude. It’s menacing low end morphs and ebbs as the beat pounds away. Following a brief breakdown, proceedings turn yet denser still as more layers of bass flood the low end.
Review: Tom Jones