Boomkat Product Review:
Despite his move from Ostgut Ton to Modeselektor's 50Weapons stable, Rene Pawlowitz's third album as Shed is for the most part business as usual - that business being the supply of richly evocative and highly effective techno for head and feet. As with Shedding The Past and The Traveller, The Killer gives equal weight to dubbed-out, dreamy IDM investigations as it does to club-ready material, though on tracks like 'Silent Witness' and the absolutely boss 'I Come By Night', an effective synthesis of these two divergent tendencies is achieved. All that said, as befits Shed's departure from the Berghain camp, there's actually little in the way of conventional 4/4 to be heard on The Killer anyway, with a bias instead towards spring-loaded breakbeats both fast ('V10MF!/The Filler', the wonderful 'Follow The Leader') and slow - 'Day After', to take one example, exists at the intersection of dubstep and Scorn-like hip-hop (as previously done, with more vitriol, on 12" cut 'RQ-170'). The A-side of that 12", 'The Praetorian', appears here in an ambient album mix, the Autechre-ish beats dispensed with all the better to emphasise the mellifluous, almost psychedelic synth-scaping at work. 'Ride On' might just be the LP's highlight, with its broken steppers' rhythm, delirious vocal stabs and dark strings - this is the real soundtrack to driving through Mega City One at night. You know you're always going to get tremendous value from Shed, and tunes that you'll return to time and time again - The Killer is, as expected, killer.