Maelstrom/Specialivery RAAR002 EP

Punk aesthetics and techno stamina define the shadowy label's second release.
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RAAR002

RAAR! might appear to be something you would yell to surprise an unsuspecting victim, but in reality, its a new label headed up by French noise merchant Maelstrom and frequent collaborator Louisahhh!!!. The imprint is pretty unforgiving in its aims to liberate us from mediocre techno music, as well. Following RAAR's inagural release, one that featured three slabs of no-frills techno with an abundance of anarcho-punk aesthetics from the minds Dave Clarke, Mr Jones and Black Asteroid (working together under the Roijacker moniker), Maelstrom himself and newcomer Carlo Bernasconi are responsible for this latest motor-oil–fueled journey to the darkest corners of the dancefloor.

The EP leads off with Maelstrom's "Opium Wars"—it's a complex, brutal and tense affair, metronomic, hydraulic and powerful from it's opening bars to its seething, pulsating finale. Muted guitar chords gradually increase the tension, while thumping, distorted bass kicks through a mesh of bleeping, top-end sounds. "Diameter of Recess" layers frenetic sub-wave basslines and distorted, sweeping atmosphere over mechanical, tremor-causing kick drums and pin-point, razor-sharp stabs, all this before handing the reigns to Bernasconi on the flip.

Working under the Specialivery name, Bernasconi serves up "Dust Detector Movement," a visceral audio assault that's brief and singular motive is to be as loud, more ferocious and more challenging as could possibly be. Sine-wave basslines and pressurized, pulsing effects serve as the mechanics of this teeth-bared workout. Just to let the dust settle, a pensively eerie, haunting and uncomfortable beatless version awaits, as the EP dives deep into ambient territory for its last breath.