Cyger: Deep Space Mining

Uncharted Audio and Rednetic vets Cyan341 (Mark Streatfield, who also issues material under the Zainetica name) and Langer (Richard Burden aka Neo-Tek and Russell Parsons aka Kone-R) join forces as Cyger for Deep Space Mining, a long-form, single-track exercise in cybernetic techno whose title is more than a little apt. A live, forty-two-minute recording midwifed by the producers into being using a Korg ElecTribe SX (ESX-1) and Langer's hand-built analogue synth, the material, generated sans laptop and software, embraces an old-school, all-hardware approach and as such exudes an appealingly raw feel. It's metal machine music, for sure, but the production approach ensures that one never loses sight of the fact that human beings are shaping it in real time.

With the machinery operating at full steam from the drop, the trio effectively bridges the gaps between techno, industrial, and ambient. Pumping rhythms pound furiously as synthesizer whooshes and chugging patterns fill the air, with an occasional breakdown allowing the equipment to recharge, and an image quickly forms of a cavernous, near-dark warehouse space packed with shadowy figures gyrating in lockstep to the music's throb. In place of an unwavering pulse, Cyan341 and Langer change things up continuously, whether it be the intensity level or the melodic content, and the impression created is of an ever-evolving trip featuring different yet related scenes. Seventeen minutes in, for example, a fiery synthesizer melody gradually withdraws to let a dub-techno episode take over, which in turn builds in urgency until it reaches a wide-screen, thrusting roar, and in a mix that's already heavy, a thunderous kick drum will occasionally surface to give the groove extra muscle. Such transitions occur throughout the recording but do so without derailing the music's relentless drive and high-velocity momentum. Echoes of Detroit- and Berlin-styled techno are detectable, but Deep Space Mining ends up sounding like nothing else than a self-sufficient, machine-based entity sustained by its own inexhaustible life-force.

May 2017