Italian producer Durante delivers an intense, brooding work for Adam X's label. "Italian Decay" would have been an apt name for a release which stays on the darker side of the techno sound, and that track's stepping rhythm and dark, snappy drums set the tone for this bleak three-tracker. The mood darkens considerably on "Kreuzberg", where a similar rhythm is fused with razor sharp hi hats and lumbering kicks. However, the track that really encapsulates Durante's mood is "Ansia"; starting with a brooding sound scape, it gradually descends into the kind of intense, claustrophobic rhythm track that could easily pass as a soundtrack to Dante's seventh level of hell.
Veteran artist Max Durante continues his relationship with Sonic Groove with this killer, 80s-influenced EP. "New Belgian Resistance" is an oppressive ebm/techno workout that resounds to a throbbing, pulsating bass and cold, robotic drums. "Molotov" is slower but just as menacing, with the Italian artist delivering a low-slung, acid-laced groove that will appeal to fans of original New Beat but also to contemporary artists like The Hacker. "Machine Gun" is like a halfway house between both of these tracks. with Durante laying down an unflinching rhythm laden down with shrieking vocal samples. Closing out the release is "Born From Pain", a slowed down workout with sharp percussive bursts that shows Durante is adept at applying his love of EBM to differing tempos.
Durante has been one of the leading lights in Rome's techno scene since the early '90s, and this release relives those heady days. Like an update of the pounding techno from that period, Durante's second EP on Adam X's label is a proper heads down affair. The aptly named "Human Rage" and "Riot R94" revolve around relentless kick drums and noisy, repetitive stabs. "The Resistance" sees Durante slow down the tempo and add in some eerie, atmospheric textures, but this release's natural home is on the barricades with fists raised as the break beat-led peak time of "Tension on Rigaer Strasse" demonstrates.
Max Durante has been releasing music for 30 years, but this is his debut album. Was The Experiment worth the wait? Based on this eight-track adventure, it certainly sounds like it. Needless to say though, experimentation remains at the heart of Durante's work. While "EX-PO1" starts the release with a sound that captures the middle ground between ambient drones and ponderous techno,"EX-PO2", dispenses with kicks all together and sees Durante disappear into abstract territories again. This approach is also audible on the subtle chimes and percussion of "EX-PO4". While both "EX-PO3" and "EX-PO5" which both include one of Durante's closest colleagues, Fabrizio Darcangelo, slides back towards stepping techno the mood throughout this release remains a deeply experimental affair.
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