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cassegrain-centres of distraction 3lp (prologue)

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cassegrain: centres of distraction

Cassegrain continue their empowering run of techno electronics with Centres of Distraction, their debut album on Prologue. Leading us on a 10-track expedition into a wilderness of rugged, challenging sonics, the album marks the production duo's development from adventurous new-bloods to full-fledged techno explorers. Over the course of the last five years, Alex Tsiridis and Hüseyin Evirgen, now both firmly entrenched in Berlin, have created a heavily detailed rhythmic language of morphing synthesis, high-end processing, and club-chiseled production. A nod to the classic '90s electronic album format -- spanning a wide range of tempos and genres -- Centres pf Distraction covers a lot of ground. After the opening club-ready syncopations of "A Study of Splashes," itself a warm and addictive cut, the duo set out on a new exploration in purist electronica, beginning with "Resilin." Morphing from abstract and reduced broken beats into a stirring melodic piece, it's the most song-structured we've heard them. And so change and contrast are to continue as key themes. "Centres" drops with its funky, off-center lines and rattling percussion, to be quickly followed by the mighty "Intrude - Restrain." "New Hexagon" charms us into a deep hypnosis with its percussive and rhythmic synthesis, highlighting the intricacies of the duo's drum programming. The serene mid-tempo tones of "Glasshouse" create yet another dramatic change in focus as a temporal, high-pressure, and high-intensity atmosphere is built and then gently deconstructed. But Cassegrain also stands for high-end dance music, and "Scythian" is perhaps the peak of the album in that respect. An unrelenting and timeless shock of electricity, the stuttering, frenetic energy winds its way around the heart of Cassegrain's current club sound. Again dropping the tempo in search of refreshing alternatives, renowned Greek cellist Nikos Veliotis (of the Mohammad group on PAN and In Trance 95 on Minimal Wave) contributes his growling, measured strokes to "Empress Cut in Segments." An intense soundtrack of sublime cacophonic peaks, once again tapping into a newly developed taste for melody and progressive structures. The album approaches its end with "Arcane," the type of psycho-techno that Cassegrain do so well -- metallic lines overlapping and modulating to full effect -- the tension palpable. This is the prelude to the beautiful "Seldom Cloud" that sums up all of the more experimental, melodic studies found on the LP. Floating bells and ethereal bodies swarm in a fitting conclusion to the album.

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