What is there to say about Deepchord that hasn't already been said? For close to three decades, the producer and mastering engineer behind the now-solo affair, Rod Modell, has been ably mining the depths of techno's core sounds through a dubwise filter, and he reliably brings up gold. Hash-Bar Loops, his latest LP, is, no exception.
Modell's gifts are many. He's an expert arranger and programmer, so when the dubby, static-filled "Stars" blends painlessly into the more thumping "Sofitel," the listener feels less like they're sitting through a track-to-track-to-track relay and more like they're experiencing the hazy Amsterdam stay that supposedly inspired Modell to make the record. But that's also partially due to the lo-fi, live-sounding vibe that threads each of these 12 tracks together, and it's a welcome change from dub-techno's often austere, clinical approach to production. Modell's bass sounds aren't meant to bash you over the head or wallop you in the chest, and it's a testament to his years of studio wisdom that he employs his low-end with such gorgeous restraint. On "Tangier," a subtle, icy synth provides a light rhythm, but the kick drum sounds more like the gentle chug of a train passing than something intended to stir a heaving dancefloor. Sure, you could crank these up, make your speakers ache, and test the limits of your bowels, but on a chill ride like this, why would you want to?