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senking - Capsize Recovery
Outstanding long-player for all fans of darkside post-techno sound design: Raster Noton's bleakest bot Jens Massel aka Senking follows the trajectory of his 'List' and 'Pong' classics into the abyssal depths of 'Capsize Recovery'; a tortuous journey through eight intense, lightless levels of droning bass, buffeting synthlines and coruscating beats emulating the effect of being locked in a Russian submersible/spacecraft 20000 leagues below/above the sea and far from land. The whole album was recorded sans computer, which makes the sense of spatial dynamic even more remarkable, working in a simulated space somewhere between the illusory architextures of Raime & Powell, and the vast electro-acoustic parameters of Emptyset. Similarly to Raime, he's also honed his halfstep rhythms to a stomach -wrechingly powerful movement, adopting the dynamics of UK-borne halfstep far more concisely than many of his German contemporaries, especially in the glinting roil of opener, 'Chainsawfish', the sepulchral cadence of 'Tiefenstop' or the SP:MC-alike junglist splices of 'Shading' and 'Capsize Recovery'. However, if we've any gripes with his sound, it's that verges perhaps too close to the gnarly rock chops of Distance at times, perhaps coming off like the EDM/rock soundtrack to a Vin Diesel blockbuster in 'Cornered', but it's a minor quibble, and unlikely to stop this becoming one of our favourite electronic albums this year.