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White Noise: White Material - White Material

Thursday, 5 December 2013

White Material - White Material

Label: White Material

2013 has seen a huge amount of new labels rise to prominence, but none have rivalled the meteoric ascent of NY’s White Material. The imprint’s three releases to date have come courtesy of founders Young Male, DJ Richard and Galcher Lustwerk, each exploring a tenebrous strain of the house/techno spectrum all his own. The label’s fourth limited-run release is an expression of unity, its unattributed tracks speaking of a coherent vision that encompasses the vitality of the White Material sound. Keen listeners will be able to divine who’s behind each of these tunes (particularly the fourth), but that would be missing the point – after three hotly-tipped solo outings, White Material now steps forward as a collective, and the shared talent of its operators is almost frightening in its ferocity.

1 Does Not Know / Problems / Lost in Thaw / Put It On

1 Does Not Kno leads the charge with a full-throttle techno assault, a clipped chord breaking repeatedly over a pounding drum pattern. Its core elements are unchanging but subtle play with the levels gives the track a natural ebb and flow precision-built for the peak-time dancefloor. Problems is a stripped jam reminiscent of WM’s first release, where a bottled synth plays out over a slowly-shifting percussive field. The exercise is lent a striking momentum by a bassline which grows in strength as the track progresses, evolving from a far-off patter to a venomous acid lick as the track draws towards its close. The B-side moves towards housier territory, as Lost In Thaw bears a threatening vocal loop which brings to mind DJ Richard’s superb Leech2. Yet here the ominous squalls of noise take on a more disorientating form, allied to haywire synth swirls that command attention without ever infringing upon the track’s adamantine groove. The EP closes with its most distinctive player in Put It On, as the gravel-voiced Lustwerk murmurs over a silky-smooth house workout, its languid pace and softened synths resulting in a perfect twilight hit. While its early proclamation of ‘working man’s techno’ may have raised a few eyebrows, White Material has proved itself with music, not words, and its collective EP is a striking statement of intent: four white-hot producers exploring four tributaries of their shared vision of dance music’s gritty future.


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