Review: Yes! Rrose's Eaux imprint makes an impressive virgin step into the reissue game, gathering up two of the producer's latter-day highlights of the Sandwell District canon for a much needed new edition. Originally released in late 2011, Merchant Of Salt remains our favourite clutch of Rrose productions and this reissue is a must for anyone who missed out first time round. Lead track "Shepherd's Brine" gravitates expertly into rhythmic life from the acidic fluid moments of the opening bars, building with intoxicating ease towards a mid point tunnelling groove that's lent no small degree of spectral wonder by the deep set vocal waves. Proceedings plunge further into the foggy recesses of uncompromising, mordant rhythm on the wholly visceral, gut wrenching exercise in sound sculpture that is "Waterfall". Mere sound clips don't really do the laser guided menace inherent in this track justice.
Review: The latest transmission on Rrose's Eaux offers a welcome chance to indulge once more in the producer's stunning debut release Primary Evidence, initially released on Sandwell District as the now defunct label entered it's Phase 3. Both cuts on here are just as mind blowing now -"Secretion" opens with a reverb laden 4/4 thud offset by rasping hats - proper techno in other words - before a droning metallic loop enters the equation. The kick drops off, the machine loop builds and boom - the pummelling bass drum returns with extra gusto! Flipping over is the driving arpeggiated rhythm of "Bare Hand" which comes replete with a razor shop kick and meaty bassline.
Review: The mysterious Rrose has really seen his career flourish since the Sandwell District imprint shut its doors earlier this year, with two exceptional releases for his freshly minted Eaux label riding high in our list of top techno records this year. However, Wedge Of Chastity contains the label's best material yet, and gives the massive "Waterfall" from last year a run for its money. The massive "Cavity" pairs a devastatingly effective arpeggio with a salvo of hi-hats and claps to create a ascending techno nightmare. On the flip, "Wedge" offers a more patient track, as a viscous, dubbed out bassline slowly breaks out into a searing pulse which is gradually layered with increasingly complex percussion, while "Envy" creates a distinct sense of alienation with its stuttering kick drums and thick bass coated in waves of cold delay. A must check for fans of menacingly cerebral techno excursions!
Review: The enigmatic Rrose returns with the monolithic sounds of Waterfall Variations, the first Eaux transmission of 2013. Since debuting on the Sandwell District label in 2011 with the Primary Evidence EP, Rrose's Herculean brand of techno has offered a new take on the big room style. The Waterfall Variations EP sees Rrose return to "Waterfall", a track that featured on the 2011 Sandwell District classic Merchant Of Salt, offering an early, previously unreleased variation entitled "Waterfall (Birth)", as well as inviting Stroboscopic Artefacts boss Lucy to remix the original with brooding results. There's every chance "Waterfall (Birth)" will fill many of Europe's festival speakers this summer, while Lucy's remix is more suited to the club, toning down the flamboyance of Rrose's electrifying synths. "Shrouds" sees Rrose merge both the menace of his Sandwell District releases with gnashing spells of harsh electronic manipulations.
Review: More brain-melting techno from Rrose on the producer's Eaux label - and if you take the label's other releases into account: you've been warned. "Pentagons" is a gurgling self-modulating monster of climbing tones and destroyed frequencies - think Kevin Gorman's "7am Stepper" on a brutal overdose of steroids, while "Ammonia" sees Rrose return to the Sandwell District sound we all fell in love with in 2011, only cultivated further. Completing this monolithic release is the acid-tripping "Mirror", a minimal (by Rrose standards), resonance-fuelled trip down the rabbit hole every clubber should experience every now and then. Donato Dozzy eat your heart out!
Review: Originally released on Sandwell District in 2012 just as it ceased operations for good, the mysterious Rrose's Artificial Light (1969 - 1909) finds new life on this repress for his own Eaux label. "With All Faces Bleached Out" simmers with clinical restraint, offering several movements in sound sculpture as the needle draws unerringly towards the runout groove. Arid mechanical textures undulate through the swampy surrounds of sub bass and rippling percussion, seemingly falling victim to the increasing sensation of sonic claustrophobia before emerging midway in the midst of sub-aquatic bleepery, only to be dragged back down in the closing spectral moments. The pin pricking sensation continues with a sense of almost gleeful menace with the two productions on the flip, though both are pretty much in the shadow of the epic A-side.
Review: ** RROSE RRERESS ** Having first emerged as one of the last contributing artists to the now defunct Sandwell District, the enigmatic techno producer Rrose has since channeled her unique brand of techno through the Eaux label. Vanishing Pools is the second Eaux 12" release this year and finds Rrose once again providing some superb spectral techno. Proceedings commence with the creepy modular throb and off-kilter touches of "Hole", before ratcheting up the intensity on the discordant dancefloor buzz of "Purge". There's a strange, industrial-influenced feel to the droning electronics and metallic hits of "Curl", while "Adrift" seems more concerned with mood and texture than dancefloor dynamics. As if to make amends, Rrose finishes with "Undergrowth", a paranoid chunk of slowly evolving ambience.
Review: Since making her debut on Sandwell District back in 2011, Rrose has become a familiar figure on the experimental techno circuit. Though she recently committed a quite singular album to the Further Records cause, it's Rrose's own Eaux label through which her revelatory material largely arrives and For Aquantice is another fine 12". Rrose's first 12" of 2015 features three more ghostly, otherworldly compositions, beginning with the creepy electronics and undulating rhythms of "Levitate". There's a greater rhythmic intensity to the wonky, delay-laden drums of the equally supernatural "Vellum", while "Signs" charges off in a classic off-key intelligent techno vein - all spiraling riffs, spitting melodies and psychedelic electronics.
Review: Having first emerged as one of the last contributing artists to the now defunct Sandwell District, the enigmatic techno producer Rrose has since channeled her unique brand of techno through the Eaux label. Vanishing Pools is the second Eaux 12" release this year and finds Rrose once again providing some superb spectral techno. Proceedings commence with the creepy modular throb and off-kilter touches of "Hole", before ratcheting up the intensity on the discordant dancefloor buzz of "Purge". There's a strange, industrial-influenced feel to the droning electronics and metallic hits of "Curl", while "Adrift" seems more concerned with mood and texture than dancefloor dynamics. As if to make amends, Rrose finishes with "Undergrowth", a paranoid chunk of slowly evolving ambience.
Review: Probably for good reason, techno deviant Rrose isn't as active as he was a few years back. However, we see this as a winning strategy - building and maintain momentum up until the very moment the bombs drop. Back on his own EAUX label, we have three new, blurry technoid structures made for the more finessed ears. "The Smallest Footprints" dazzles and confuses with its constantly shape-shifting groove, guided and supported by an ocean of deep-water sonics and atmospheric harmonies, whereas "The Ends Of Weather" itself sounds like the beginning of the perfect storm, gliding with tenebrous might across its six minutes and 42 seconds of instability and beatless sway. On the B-side, "Nest Of Queens" manages to do very much with very little, launching a minimalistic percussion flex that evolves at its own pace, twisting and convulsing more and more with each new bang of the beat. What a stunner. Be quick, these will go!
Review: Rrose continues to serve up occasional slabs of mind-altering techno gold, primarily on the Eaux label the producer established in 2012 after parting company with Sandwell District. This year-ending missive is as impressive as it is mind-altering and thought provoking. Opener "Beware of Shells" delivers a trippy and intoxicating blend of rhythmic modular noise and foreboding electronics, before the creepy "Incisors" leads us gently by the hard towards peak-time techno dancefloors. Elsewhere, "The Swelling" serves up buzzing, mangled white noise, "Sister (Remix)" is a psychedelic, mid-tempo modular techno chugger, and closing cut "Pecking Order" is a particularly dystopian chunk of otherworldly ambient.
Rrose - "The Surgeon General (No Child Left Behind)"
Rrose - "The Surgeon General (Her Insides Laid Bare)"
Review: The Surgeon General sees the mysterious Sandwell District alumnus Rrose launches a new imprint in typically unconventional style, once again working with iconic synth musician Bob Ostertag. Surgeon General was recorded by Ostertag a quarter of a century previously and it starts with what sounds like the forlorn whistle of a steam train, weaving its way in and out of silence for a few minutes. Then there follows a deconstructed rhythm that drips like rivulets of water down a wall and bursts of eerie ambient sounds. Despite the fact that Ostertag used basic equipment and the composition predates contemporary electronic music, it has aged extremely well. Rrose's creepily titled "Her Insides Laid Bare" remix is an atmospheric ambient arrangement, with the occasional anti-rhythm clanging away in the background. He/she adopts a different approach on the "No Child Left Behind" reshape. There, dreamy, filtered chords unravel over a skipping rhythm and pinprick beats, as a swirling but nonetheless forceful filter lends it the requisite momentum. If Surgeon General is indicative of where Eaux is heading, then he is clearly seeking to use his new label to push experimental electronic music.
Review: Originally issued as one of the final releases on Sandwell District back in 2011, Ostertag and Rrose's engrossing Motormouth Variations is given a much needed reissue through the latter's Eaux label. Shorn of the 10" featuring some of Ostertag's earliest explorations with the famed Buchla 200E modular synth, this Eaux edition proves Motormouth Variations to still be a very powerful document which featured all the sonic hallmarks of Sandwell District- thick, muggy and brooding soundscapes - yet simultaneously pushes it in fascinating new directions. From the gloomy sonic architecture and underlying sense of unrest that pervades "Wack" to the freakish arpeggios of "Arms & Legs", this is as detailed and nuanced as anything in SD's storied back catalogue. The two versions of "Pointilism" are still quite breathtaking.
Review: The arrival of a new release on Eaux sees Rrose break with tradition, seeking out the self-quipped "ambient nihilism" of Tujurikkuja, aka California duo Kit Clayton and Chris Dixon. Separately both artists have rich histories in the West Coast underground to dig through (fun fact: Clayton worked with Juan Mendez on the late '90s Cytrax label) but their joint output as Tujurikkuja is restricted to a pair of releases on San Francisco label Computer Music. Omerta sees Clayton and Dixon turn in a titular analogue improvisation that fans of extended abstract electronic pioneers like Dilloway will delight in. It's been pressed at 45rpm but Eaux recommend listeners approach at 33rpm! Rrose offers a version on the flip that is more appropriate for dancefloor deployment.