whilst the world sings about house and techno’s current slo-mo revolution (me included), there’s another one going on beneath the surface… a vocal one. i don’t mean vocal as in shitty signifiers like ‘yeah’ ‘detroit’ ‘house music’ or whatever, i mean actually semantically intact lyrics (ish) which have turned the psychedelic days of the naughties into the more spiritual times of now (see teej, art dept, jaar and more i probably forget).
back when the electronic horizon was shifting from bleak and minimal to warmer and more human, it was seth troxler who was at the forefront, bringing emotion back to techno alongside his detroit and w+l buddies, ryan, shaun, lee, zev, gadi and blah blah blah courtesy of tracks like ‘aphrika’, a deep cut which plundered maya angelou’s poem, phenomenal woman, for its wordy inspiration. now, though, the words come directly from troxler’s heart and mind (something only emphasised given the air in which they are delivered – like a whispered stream of conscious) on any number of tracks from ‘sing’ with deetron to ‘vampire nightclub’/’living the life’ with art department or ‘soulless dreamer’ on agoria’s (very solid) forthcoming lp, impermanence.
and here again they crop up, on the title track of this ep, scattered like seductively charming fairy dust over the dry beats of robert johnson resident, dave vega, to make for a track with a nice duality: on the one hand its dreamy and musing, the other driving and solid, depending where you put your focus. the groove is long and largely interrupted; is peppered only with the muted rumblings of analogue machines and fx and sparkles faintly like a distant star… it’s crisp, radiant and escapist stuff.
‘suspended in dust’ builds in phrases with new sonic motifs dropping into the solid house groove as it goes. a twanging synth; a classic tsk-tsk loop; boom-y kicks, all get layered up, stripped right back then slammed together again to make for a raw, frazzle-edged and propulsive dump of derelict house music. exercise one feed ‘woes’ through a kaleidoscopic lens which fractures sounds, keys, voices, machines, in every direction, only for them to gather around the thud-thud house beat once again. but it’s seth’s introspective whispers that stay with you beyond the final beat and, as is the case no matter with what they are paired, they add an enigmatic, tongue-in-cheek ardour that it’s hard not to dig.