In a world where techno is increasingly tending towards the abstract sonic sculptures made hip by the likes of Lucy and Xhin, it’s people like London’s Ashley Burchett who keep us grounded. Hardly prolific, releasing on average just two original tracks per year since 2009, Burchett’s releases as Phase rarely stray from the blueprint of unrelenting 4/4 juggernauts. When this simplicity and aggression is combined with such artistry and skillful production as is on display on Binary Opposition (Process 1) and Process 2, the results serve to remind us of why we fell in love with techno in the first place.
“Unrelenting” is the key word in the previous paragraph. Both of these tracks are exactly that, the bass pounding and trampling over the rest of the mix leaving other elements desperately fighting for air. The onslaught is accompanied by frosted percussion and the barest of melodies on Process 1, and by hints of misty-eyed, ethereal atmospherics on Process 2. Both halves of Binary Opposition are techno at its purest and most unforgiving, choice cuts for the latest of late nights.
For those of you who enjoy this sort of thing, Phase recently proffered up Sketches On A Broken System, his first podcast of 2012. The great man works three decks and throws in a ton of top-drawer unreleased material. In terms of intense, dark, and hard-hitting dance music, it doesn’t really get much better.