outstanding release from ben gibson. quality techno & atmospheric tracks. there is no need for babblespeak here. just get it. however if you need convincing in the form of a paragraph or two read this:
Gibson first emerged on Jeff Mills’ experimental, influential 6277 sublabel but then again vanished into the ether; he only reappeared three years later on Perc Trax, even more surprisingly with a full-length. Since then, he’s gone on to steadily more notice with Perc’s imprint, Sect Records, and most recently M_Rec LTD in spite of the continuing lack of information. Exposure isn’t the most important thing for us at Chronicle though, and after hearing these five tracks, we saw exactly what it is that drew Mills to him from the beginning. It is a sound that we find a perfect fit for the techno futurism of our Chronicle series, and here we offer a platform for Gibson’s more sci-fi, ethereal sounding material, exclusively on vinyl for the fifth edition of our sublabel. It commences mysteriously with the big room drones of Almaz, which clearly references the work of the Detroit pioneer who initially brought him to notice. The textures of the keys slowly morph as they’re interrupted by garbled static pulses, and the tension builds steadily over the duration as the atmospheres become thicker and stark, minimalist techno drums make their entrance to develop alongside the rest. After the opener takes a quiet bow, Cemlins continues mood he has built in a static-laden soundscape of gently shifting rhythm and held tones which move steadily upward to a rousing finale. The second side opens more succinctly in techno territory with Vapour, but it again takes a lighter hand with bell-like tones floating over the rest. Here, the feeling remains optimistic rather than ominous, but he quickly shifts back for Miasma, a subtly uneasy techno track full of unbridled intent. Rhythmic static and low-mixed, funky bass move in a deliberate pace with the delicately developed drum programs. Finally, the almost-vocal sound of the haunting lead in Convey brings this mini-album to its quietly emotional conclusion. While unquestionably subdued compared to the work of many of his contemporaries, Ben Gibson’s music accomplishes expressiveness in its delicacy that is rare in modern techno. As such, it stands in the company of few but in perfect counterpoint with the rest, and as an exciting outlier and addition to Chonicle’s explorations.
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