The pairing of Rene Pawlowitz (a.k.a. Shed) and Modeselektor's 50Weapons imprint again proves to be a fruitful one, as the German producer checks in here with two powerfully percussive sides on his first 12" of the year under his most frequently used moniker.
In the past, Shed has been a project rooted in the dark and dubby ends of techno, usually resulting in tracks that were more concerned with exploration than thundering sonics. More recently though, Pawlowitz has moved Shed towards deeper, warehouse-minded sounds, and both "The Dirt" and "Fluid 67" see this evolution continue. The a-side cut is simple and brief by Shed's standards (clocking in at just over four-and-a-half minutes), but neither of these factors do the effort a disservice. Repitching a single fuzzy chord to create a two-bar pattern, Pawlowitz works an increasingly heavy-handed beat underneath, pushing loose hats, enormous kicks, and an up-swung snare to serve as a bed for the chorded pattern as it runs through loads of refracted processing. The tune flashes by and, despite its simplicity, it's initially a bit hard to get a handle on; that said, it's a track that has little trouble standing up to repeated listens.
The record's b-side falls somewhere between "The Dirt" and Pawlowitz's '90s-obsessed Head High production moniker (a handle the producer has himself referred to as his "power house" alias). A bit deceiving from the start, "Fluid 67" begins with a shuffling set of drums that easily could have led to a more relaxed and spacey affair. But after a bit of careful building, Shed loops a short fragment of the Amen break, which immediately sends the tune off into vintage techno territory. The effect is especially amplified once the rhythm meets up with a four-bar organ loop, which itself has been filtered and delayed to give it an interesting texture and space. Much like its a-side counterpart, "Fluid 67" is a bit simple by Shed's standards, but again, this does nothing to compromise the quality of the track. Whether he's exploring the outer reaches of dubby techno or crafting efficient yet powerful pieces of warehouse dance music—as he does here—Shed sounds equally at home.