Boomkat Product Review:
Serious techno traction from Surgeon on his sleekly powerful first album in five years, sounding like the Brummie dynamo has properly got to grips with the modular array he’s built over the past decade.
A true hallmark of great electronic music producers is the ability to sound like yourself no matter the kit. On ‘Crash Recoil’ Surgeon stamps his signature on every tune via a crisply refined touch on his modular set-up, wresting eight tracks of chewy, roiling momentum with a militant discipline and crafty turns of phrase. Surgeon albums have long been the place to go for his more experimental works, especially the likes of ‘Basictonalvocabulary’ (1997) and ‘Breaking The Frame’ (2011), and this new one finds him balancing urges toward freakier, brutally sensual sound design and the steeliest yet supple club rhythms in a subtle upgrade and redefinition of his sound that still bears traces of the lithe, hands-on tekkerz that have driven his work since the mid ‘90s.
The trax are held in taut flux between electro and techno, proper, vacillating on/off the beat in restlessly rolling forms. ‘Oak Bank’ spends the first half plumbing deepwater electro, resolving to tunnelling techno pulse midway and building a heady velocity. The rest of thallium swillers around this style, from entrancing hydrodynamics on ‘Second Magnitude Stars’ to the outstanding grind of ‘Metal Pig’, and the sinuous, dark sidewinder ‘Leadership Contest’, with hypnotic effect on ‘Masks & Archetypes’ giving way tot he trance-techno of ‘Subcultures’ in a flow not dissimilar to a DJ or live set.