ORPHX - Hunger Knows No Law (Front Cover)
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Canadian duo and former Juno Plus interviewees Orphx provide their fourth EP for Adam X's label, and in the process muddy the waters. Preceding releases on the label saw Oddie and Sealey extricate themselves from their industrial approach and focus instead on their own vision - and a bleak one at that - of club techno. On this occasion however, the lines are blurred. "Cut Through" does have the same kind of cold, detached bleeps that made "Black Light" such a malevolently addictive listen, but they unfold over a broken beat and razor sharp percussion. The key difference becomes clear as the track progresses; while the other EPs had a clean, austere sound, the introduction of a murderous, distorted bassline on "Through" makes it messier, more abrasive and like a halfway house between the Sonic Groove releases and their work for Hands. Up next, there is no such ambiguity; "Devourer" is based on twisted, tangled rhythms and fuzzy, feedback-filled sub bass lingering with intent in the background. "Preta Loka" meanwhile offers some relief; again, the rhythm is dense and off beat, but the way that the ghostly chord sequence unfolds over the seething mass of fury means it wouldn't have sounded out of place on Radiotherapy. "Hunger" sounds like Orphx wanted to choose between the club and their natural habitat and decided this time to head back into darkness.

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