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shifted - Crossed Paths
Terrific debut album of steely, atmospheric techno from Shifted. It seems most people have a pretty good idea about the true identity of the British producer behind this material, but the man himself is staying admirably tight-lipped, and we're not about to give the game away. It's hardly important anyway, because this project is really about the music, and what music it is: with clear nods to Sandwell-District's Feed-Forward, Shifted brings to life a vision of stripped-down, industrial-tinged and dub-conscious techno that's at once exquisitely purist and forward-thinking. Shifted adopts various well-chosen styles with great success - 'Colour Of The Fall''s aqueous synth tones lap against Regis-style drum syncopations, 'Relict' and 'More Static' channel the sub-loaded swagger of Maurizio, while epic opener 'Yearning' is a crushingly heavy, beatless drone-scape that could easily have come from the studio of Sunn O))) or KTL - but his bread and butter is ruthlessly linear, pared-down, enter-the-void techno, and there's no shortage of that on Crossed Paths. Even at its most functionally kinetic, there's an exquisitely dystopian, decadent sensibility to Shifted's work: the low-end wail that wafts through 'Out Of Tune' is somewhere between rave siren and Gregorian chant, and 'Leather''s dropforge kicks and atonal bells are custom-built to drive the Berghain bears wild.