Let's get this out of the way: Redshape wears a mask. That said, while the seemingly endless parade of identity-cloaked producers has made the decision to wear a mask increasingly seem like a gimmick, in the case of this particular German producer, it actually feels appropriate. Listening to his music, one gets the impression that his choice to wear a mask isn't motivated by a desire to create some sort of mysterious artistic facade or make any kind of statement. In truth, Redshape rarely says much of anything at all and the mask seems more like a genuine attempt to remove his persona from the process of experiencing his art. It may sound cliché, but Redshape lets his music do the talking, and his latest record, "Throw in Dirt" b/w "The Land," set for release on Martyn's 3024 imprint, shows that the techno veteran's flair for crafting bold, muscular tunes hasn't diminished in the slightest.
Like much of Redshape's catalog, "Throw in Dirt" isn't particularly innovative. Nevertheless, it's a strong effort, one that harkens back to the blue-collar techno history of Detroit while it rides along a sturdy framework of vintage drum-machine sounds and utilizes a chunky bassline that could have been plucked from a choice '80s electro-funk tune. Apart from a submerged vocal loop, nothing resembling a melody takes hold until more than two minutes into the production, at which point a brawny synth line confidently cruises through the proceedings. All the while, the drums just keep building, driving the bold track up through its conclusion more than four minutes later.
On the flipside, "The Land" dials back the swagger, but like its a-side counterpart, there's absolutely nothing timid about this number. The percussion—again rooted in classic drum-machine sounds—simmers rather than boils, but "The Land" features a crunchy, unrelenting bassline that takes center stage throughout most of the song's eight-minute runtime. Filled out by some gliding pads and a delectably funky array of vocal snippets, it's another stellar effort.
In short, Redshape doesn't fuck around, and if he keeps turning out records like "Throw in Dirt" b/w "The Land," there's absolutely no reason why he should have to.