After delivering the strong inaugural release for promising new Brooklyn imprint Fifth Wall in the form of the Case (Nabis) EP, label co-founder Hound Scales' latest offering for the label solidifies the DJ/producer's distinctively hybrid brand of industrial- and rave-inflected techno. Featuring two originals in addition to remixes from Japanese producer Yuji Kondo and scuffed techno purveyor and Opal Tapes affiliate Bleaching Agent, the Femen EP is purportedly a tribute to the powerful women who have sculpted the producer's life. Perhaps unsurprisingly then, Femen's two original tracks are situated firmly on the side of messy, powerful, and even primordial techno, with an unruly wallop reminiscent of Blawan.
The EP's first original track, "A Clique of Tough Women," starts things off with an air of industrialism and sees Hound Scales (a.k.a. Nico Jacobsen) slowly building up a clattering beat underneath murky waves of static and noise. A bit difficult to digest on first listen, the track lacks a coherent techno pulse, but is nonetheless intoxicating in its scruffy menace. "Throated" opts for a full-throttle approach, with its raw, harsh, bunker-techno rhythm matched by cold synths and an on-the-fly approach to fidelity. Yuji Kondo's take on "A Clique of Tough Women" sees him twist the original's abstract inhospitability into skittering, multi-layered delirium, made all the more inviting by Kondo's insertion of murmuring, buried voices in the mix. Finally, Bleaching Agent's remix of "Throated" underpins the original's nostalgic chords with a shuffling beat that, while solid, feels slightly uninspired. Femen sees Jacobsen further honing his distinctive, militaristic take on techno; however, the EP is let down as a whole by its two weaker remixes.