domingo, 23 de junio de 2013

Review: Derlich - Arachnophobia (2012)

Most of the time, you find interesting stuff by chance. It's normal to look for specific material from a band or individual artist, and finding related artists or simply an interesting name, to find new experiences. Well, in one of my frequent bandcamp searches, I found Derlich

Derlich it's a techno project, oriented the more dense and dark spectrum of the genre. Taking Throbbing Gristle as a main influence, we can describe the basic essence of their proposal. A hypnotic and hard to swallow techno. After listening to some of their songs, I found Arachnophobia, a one hour mix. Just by seeing that, I wanted to make a commentary of it. It promised to be an ambitious and quite interesting experience. 

In fact, that affects my own style to analyze an album (in this case, a Dj mix), because I'm used to analyze it song by song, to capture the essence of the band, but a single track is a personal challenge. So, as I write these words, the introduction advances with parsimony, but with certain "electricity", with little details that make me stay alert and pay attention. The intensity arises slowly, as we get into that net of samples and noises, until minute 6, where the actual song begins

The first question I think of is: can you dance to this? There's a clear invitation to it, but the atmosphere printed in every second of the song makes me doubt. I mean, there's rhythm, everything's there, but Derlich manages to fill every nook with important doses of "evil", that crushes, oppresses, but at the same time it's wonderful. When you get carried away by that dark sound, you get hypnotized, and the hearing acquires another taste, in fact you can analyze the composition from another point of view, which is applicable to other jewels like God, Casual Violence or Young Gods.

The great trick to maintain that kind of hypnosis over the listener is, without a doubt the ability to add little and almost insignificant details that make the listener interested despite the rhythmical repetition being frequent. With those details, the song still has something to give, finding and developing microforms that happen one after the other until the elaboration of a new section, with different characteristics. 

Something that's remarkable is the subtle use of elements related to Noise, that don't take protagonism, but are there, being the main "disturbing" factor in this huge piece. It never takes a completely chaotic nature, but it's an element that's used under the rhythmic base, making the sound dirty and harsh. Clearly, the idea of Derlich it's not destined to a massive public, but to a "trained" audience, prepared to resist (and enjoy) their attacks

There are certain differences between the aggressive and faster passages, with a raised tempo, and other introspective and ominous sections, almost playing with an Ambient of a purely electronic base. This kind of come and go develops naturally, exploiting time, vital factor in such a long piece, because you need to know how to manage every section without exaggerating, either changing the rhythm and losing the base of the song; or adding some very long parts to densify the material. 

I must remark one of the sections, which starts in minute 43 and goes on until minute 53. In this part of the song there's everything that encompasses Derlich at the same time. First of all, it has an almost-danceable and catchy start, which begins to fade while samples and noises become protagonists. You get into a highly oppressive zone, which chokes and attracts at the same time, showing the most disturbing side of the mix, to then raise the pace with lots of aggressiveness. It's the most remarkable section, covering 10 minutes. 

The song continues, taking us to an outcome in a very good way, allowing us to focus on the conclusions. And the only conclusion is approval. An ambitious project like this has been perfectly achieved, reflecting without a doubt its essence and objective.

Maybe it can result complex at first hearing, but as one adapts and "trains" as a listener of this kind of projects, it becomes a great experience to enjoy. Recommended.

Score: 91/100

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