Shape-shifting sound merchant Daniel Avery has helped to launch Erol Alkan's Phantasy Sound label into the upper echelons of dance music's hierarchy, so it makes sense that the U.K. analog-electronics mastermind was chosen to take the reigns of the label's 50th release. It's also the first original material that's materialized from Avery's bunker since late 2013, when the acclaimed Drone Logic album (and later, its slew of remixes) gave dance music a cattle-prod of noise straight to the temple. Avery's sound—brash, harsh and uneasy—has always been concerned with clarity and texture, but these two new tracks also lock on to a more techno-bound groove within its uniquely designed structure.
Dusty, crackly and muted, "Sensation" opens up with a thudding, murky kick drum and bouncing, springing acid bassline hollowed out and morphing into sine-wave frequencies, while the pace gains on the drop with pressurized analog snares. All the while, Avery is playing with feedback and distortion, creating all-encompassing atmospherics that stride brutally towards a techno-leaning warehouse trip—before stabbing, jerking, laser bass adds intensity during the last third of the track.
After that spine-tingling A-side, "Clear" doesn't provide much respite during its opening bars—until a floating, hypnotic top line melody makes way to the fore, harking back to Detroit techno's raw-analog jams. Droning and echoing atmospheres grow ever more dense as the track unfolds, before a cut-and-release of pressure adds more weight to this jacking, automated rhythm.