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  • Filed under: Review
  • 08/01/2013

Peter Van Hoesen Receiver

Stood next to recent waves of pounding, rugged techno, Peter Van Hoesen's productions only seem more poised with time. Of course, the Belgian producer doesn't actually feature on any of the three 12"s in the Receiver series, on which six of his peers contribute remixes of tracks from last year's Perceiver album. Still, even the lesser pieces here have something of Van Hoesen's style; on his tracks, influences from Michigan and European minimalism rub shoulders with coarse rhythms, placed into a kind of throbbing, specifically Low Countries framework (the producer has spoken at length about the influence of Belgian new beat on his work). Van Hoesen enacts a fine balance between the studio and the warehouse, and this gives the Receiver contributors—who represent some of nuanced techno's finest—a lot to work with.

The first edition pairs Sigha and Donato Dozzy. Sigha's remix of "Attack on the Reality Principle" is tightly wound; a randomized metal stab pattern cuts through steady kicks and groaning noise, giving an impression of development when really it's just maneuvering about the space. On the flip, Dozzy gives "Attribute 39" a beatless makeover. Spoiler alert: it's the best track of the entire series. The Italian producer lends it a sublime, soaring quality that's comparable with the best shoegaze records, and its total transformation exemplifies the possibilities of thinking outside the rigid techno box. On part two, SCB lets his progressive tendencies take hold of the bassline on "Seven, Green and Black." While rattling percussion keeps the piece slightly trippy, it has a clear build-and-release formula with bigger floors in mind. Ø [Phase]'s remix of "To Alter a Vector" is similarly functional, but more minimalist, inserting overdriven synthesizer into a sticky, hammering rhythm. Part three is neither as pretty as the first nor as functional as the second, but its remixes offer idiosyncrasy to compensate. In Marcel Fengler's hands, "Inspection in Solitude" becomes quite cranky; presenting a contrast to the industrial iron of many of the artists here, the track's frantically modulating elements take on the aura of bright plastic. It's still a factory, but maybe a toy factory. Dozzy associate Neel caps off the series with a sterling, spacious take on "Objects from the Past." Amid a generally foggy backdrop, the producer deploys needling, delayed stabs, which drift, trancelike, about the mix. In tracing their movement, one gets a good idea of why such tracks were once called "headfuck techno." A year on, Van Hoesen's material is still very much ripe for interpretation.

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