Music Reviews

cover
Artist: Simon Grab
Title: Posthuman Species
Format: 12" vinyl + Download
Label: -OUS
Recently-prolific Swiss sound artist Simon Grab’s “Posthuman Species” is a dark, aggressive, but also detailed electronica work, based around a no-input mixing setup of LFO’s, filters, analogue effects and feedback. Most pieces are underpinned by a steady kick pattern which arguably makes it techno, but the raw and unpredictable layers of noise going on above make it something much more. Each piece is relatively sparse, normally bringing just one or two sounds to the fore and never attempting a full-on wall of noise.

Highlights include the slightly T Raumschmiere-esque “Metanoia”. “Transformation” revels in a saw-like drone noise, bending and pitching it playfully before dropping into an obtuse sci-fi-like soundscape, before “New Horizons” offers a gutpunching stab rhythm with truly high stress levels. Mellower and moodier moments are brought by tracks like the low-heartbeat-dictating “Altered Sleep”.

Most of the pieces are succinct, generally between two and four minutes, exploring one arrangement of sounds to a natural level without ever getting tired. Final track “Posthuman Wonderland” is the exception, a nicely drawn out, flowing and gradually evolving series of pulsed drones and pads that’s an impressive exercise in slow change.

It’s refreshing to hear such a good balancing act that takes distortion and energy and some apparent frustrations and tempers them with details and atmospherics into something that’s engaging rather than affronting. It’s truly dark but very high quality electronica.



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