iFormat _ As The Lines Break _ NSTDG040 [ALBUM REVIEW]
Joseph McGeechan’s iFormat moniker is back.
Stark, jackin’ and devoid of melody, it’s an ultramodern take on stripped back, percussive techno.
Over the course of these 10 tracks, he showcases what might have been and what could potientally happen. The music is raw and the production is consistently superb. It’s a wicked album and thoroughly recommended. This is the path that Techno should have taken.
Altering The Dice features the first of the many beautiful kick drums on this release. It’s a great example of how McGeechan squeezes the max out of minimum channels. He does this, of course, by choosing amazingly strong sounds to begin with. Love how it it builds and stays stripped right back.
If I heard the restrictive, and driving groove of The Assessment in a club, I know I’d lock onto that rolling kick pattern right away. Hypnotic, relentless and trippy. Fucking class.
Rationisation is hard and gritty. Musical rhythms are allowed to develop in order to get smothered by the dirt.. which continues through to the magnificent Immersion Therapy. The kick drums here are incredible.. as the top is swamped in washes of distortion. These are nicely counterbalanced by clean hats / cymbals and a percussive synth / bass line. The industrial riddim of Between Two Regrets is heads down, proper nasty shit.
By the time Dead Man’s Click arrives, it’s obvious that for the most part, the only discernible pitched elements have been the kick and occasional ride cymbals. This is real Techno: Driving grooves with the fucked up sounds being played on the black keys. Always classy and without cliché. Love it.
The Unexposed is definitely my favourite track and comes at just the right point in the tracklist.
Definitely the one that I keep coming back to. It’s deceptively simple, with its different section changes. The variations on the kicks / sidechained percussion are pure class. This is about as tough and beautiful as iFormat’s music gets. Superb.
The Divided brings us a skuzzy step closer to the end. A sparse slow burner, its distorted percussion is finally released into the beatless As Time Turns.. The sound design on these tunes (and the whole album) is amazing.
The music works well in album format as there’s a common approach throughout. As a statement, it’s an antidote to trend and is an acknowledgment of the important influence of older, loopier Techno, Mills and Tresor.These tracks are a “fuck you” to the scenster’s who forgot about how much groove a filthy kick drum can generate. Theres plenty of it to lap up here – So do.
Great producer. Great music.