Boomkat Product Review:
Berlin’s xin makes an arresting début on Subtext with 'To Shock the Sky and Shake the Earth'; a brutalist study in gutted and asymmetric post-techno/bass sound design.
Upfront, it’s worth pointing out the uncanny similarities between xin, both in name and sound, to the Athens-based ace, Xyn Cabal. But, where the latter has a knack for fluid arrangements, xin tends to a spikier, caustic style perhaps better compared with the angularity and starkness of earlier Lotic output.
Across the five tracks of To Shock the Sky and Shake the Earth, xin speaks in a language of stammering AI voices, tempered trance rushes and aggressive percussion connoting a readiness for war or a reflection of some unresolved tension, perhaps sexual, societal or something harder to define.
Each part tessellates recognisable dance tropes in unusual ways, with most success in the pitch-black, gyroscopic head-spinner Black Light, Blind Fire, especially when it opens out, and with glorious, captivating effect in the transition from swelling AI chorales to brittle, decimated steppers’ rhythms and back in Sucker.