Hexagon Blue Hour
Boris Bunnik has made his name(s) on ironclad, Detroit-referencing techno and electro variants as Conforce and Versalife (as well as a host of other aliases), and his seldom-used Hexagon project echoes these characteristics. Judging by Blue Hour, Bunnik's latest EP under that name, Hexagon's defining aspect is its untethered sense of rhythm. The producer's drum patterns have stayed pretty stable throughout his catalog, but on the three tracks with beats here, he lets them run fairly wild.
This rhythmic asymmetry helps Bunnik work up a pervasive sense of unease. His often-used string pads hover in places, but thanks to his drums, their emotional intent is murkier. The scattershot patterns on "Absentum" remind of A Made Up Sound or the more abstract end of footwork, moving with a kind of malfunctioning step under off-kilter pads. "Spectral Analysis" conjures up DJ Stingray and Anthony "Shake" Shakir with its mixture of arpeggiated calculator motifs, square-bass zaps, and speedy, metallic drums. The slow-burning "Physical Dimension" is murkier, laced with a kind of 808 boom and swing and puttering, acidic bass, resulting in an atmosphere that's gusty and more implied than explicitly stated. Bunnik bookends the record with a pair of ambient tracks. "Forecasts" opens with a statement of the discombobulated, forbidding aura to come, while the patient, blinking "Illuminated Atoms" is a relatively pretty finale. Although Hexagon is not as exacting as Conforce or Versalife, it carries with it the same implications of factories whirring into the night—it's the kind of unflinching, post-industrial techno that will remain relevant, if not always groundbreaking, as long as such landscapes exist.
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