Since the coining of the musical term back in the '70s up until the present day, industrial has survived a multitude of eras and movements. But the common thread that defines the genre is its non-compliance with the status quo; the music has always been a vessel for something greater. More often than not, it’s an anti-establishment roar from the people to the man. In the present day, credit for the genre’s introduction to the dancefloor can be directed to Ali Wells’ Perc Trax label. As Wells once said in an interview for The Drone, “It’s a balance. It’s about getting your message across without turning off the people [club goers] who are just there for hedonism.” That’s exactly the middle ground that Manveer Dheensa (a.k.a Manni Dee) covers in his latest EP.
Throbs of Discontent, the Londoner’s first full EP on Perc Trax, spreads itself over three tracks. The opening cut, titled "London Isn't England," throws us straight in at the deep end. Following a short intro, which features the cavernous vocals of Ewa Justka, Manni Dee releases the trigger on his kick drum and what follows is an audial onslaught—a trait that is intrinsic in both Dheensa’s and the label’s aesthetics. A simple lead riff is carried forward by the room-filling vocals of Justka. In this style of hard hitting techno, it’s hard to make a big impact following a breakdown; however, Dheensa draws out a big build up half way through to accommodate the reintroduction of the kick—and to good effect.
The pedal stays firmly on the floor with "Mephi" on the flip. The foundation of the track is built upon sturdy bass drums which are layered underneath scattered hi-hats and an indecipherable, haunting voice. It’s refreshing to hear tracks that don’t rely on pronounced hi-hats to keep the forward momentum; in this case, the pace is set entirely by the dynamics of the handful of elements involved.
"Adorable Disorder" finishes the EP off nicely. Though he skips percussion altogether here, this track invokes more emotion than the previous two, in part down to the use of ominous, nauseating timbres. Many ambient/experimental cuts seem to make it onto techno EPs nowadays as fodder; however, "Adorable Disorder" comes as a relief after an otherwise hyperactive affair.
While one should not expect progressive melodies and harmonies from a Perc Trax release, it would have been nice to see Manni Dee touching upon the broken rhythms that he is capable of. The closing piece gives the EP a bit more depth; however; it's hard to ignore the feeling that the EP would have been more interesting had Manveer pushed a few more boundaries.
A1. London Isn't England feat. Ewa Justka
B2. Adorable Disorder
Throbs Of Discontent is scheduled for January 27 release.