Our Saturday selection:
Pascal Hetzel – ASLM [Arkham Audio, ARKIO12] Berlin-based producer, Pascal Hetzel is back with his first release since 2018, this time in the form of his first studio album titled ‘ASLM’. Pascal initially gained popularity as half of CYRK alongside his partner Sam. Pascal’s solo work steps away from CYRK’s electro, disco, acid house sound and delves into a techno/break-beat oriented direction as he takes a more experimental approach to his sound design. Through his use of modular synths and drones he creates a futuristic, dystopian and cinematic audio experience that’s filled with dark and gritty sounds that are cerebral and mind bending in their nature. The use of glitchy sounds, driving bass-lines, heavy kick drums and hypnotic yet distorted drones create a unique experience that paints a beautiful yet twisted picture of a dystopian reality. The ten track album is set to release though new Belgian label Arkham Audio.
The album opens with ‘RBBRMN’ a driving and hypnotic four to the floor tune with a bass-line and drums that swing beautifully together. Distorted horns lead to a tense build up that switches things up when the drop his and jumps straight into breakbeat with no shortage of style. This track provides an example of what one can expect from the rest of the album with its groove and combination of Techno and brokenbeats.
‘TWST ’ is up next. It’s a broken-dub track with heavy amounts of wobbling, crunchy and distorted sub-bass. Just before halfway Pascal begins bending your mind with a glitchy and cerebral modulated melody that’s sure to leave you questioning the reality you’re experiencing.
‘CHMST’ opens with a warm pulsating sub, deep and heavy broken kicks and delicate hi-hats. The track slowly starts building with a grumbling distorted synth that’s ready to consume you as it grooves with soft reverberated percussion. A hazardous sounding alarm creates a sense of distress throughout the track until a soothing yet eerie pad comes in for the next breakdown.
The next two tracks ‘SLT’ & ‚PPPR’ are built upon the same foundation when looking at their sub frequencies. They both have the same punchy, in-your-face kick drum and a very similar rolling bass that’s so deliciously groovy you can’t be upset hearing it twice. The difference being the bass from ‘PPPR’ rolls in descending intervals whereas the bass from ‘SLT’ rolls in ascending intervals.
‘PPPR’ hypnotises you though what sounds like distorted howling winds, combined with repetitive percussion ping-ponging back and forth. The tracks continuous movement builds as the drums being filling in, creating an irresistible groove in combination with the kick and the rolling-sub.
Tracklist: Pascal Hetzel – ASLM [Arkham Audio, ARKIO12]
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