Forever Delayed: Forever Delayed
Islands & Islets

Forever Delayed, issued on Islands & Islets, a Berlin-based sub-label of Stockholm Ltd., is both the alias Staffan Linzatti has chosen to operate under for the project and the title of the debut album under the pseudonym (a 2007 EP, Rotter, already appeared). Though Linzatti has largely concentrated on clubby minimal and techno in his career thus far on the releases issued by Stockholm Ltd, Synewave and District of Corruption, Forever Delayed is anything but a straight-up techno album—had it been, he likely would've released it under his birth name. If the fourteen-track album is representative of Linzatti's intended Forever Delayed style, then he's clearly aiming at a style that's equally atmospheric and percussive. It plays like a labour of love he created for himself first and only thereafter decided to share with others.

The album splits its focus between epic ambient and rhythm-centered pieces. In the former category sits “Say Hello to the End,” a pulsating organ drone drowned out by lightning strikes and rain showers, and “Wall Setting,” largely a sweeping ambient soundscape with a brief tribal percussion episode. In the tracks where rhythm plays a significant role, Linzatti uses what sound like found objects and hand percussion (kalimba, bongos, etc.) to produce the beats rather than relying on the conventional software-generated beats used in standard techno tracks. Much of the album puts percussion first, such as the conga-heavy jam “Tenminutesandthirtyeightseconds” and the robo-tribal funk cut   “Freeze.” The metronomic vibraphone patterns in “To the Wild” have more in common with classical minimalism than techno proper, though the piece is underscored by an insistent rhythm—but again it's not a techno rhythm but rather a skeletal one generated using simple hand percussion. “Polar's Twist” first exudes the kind of explorative meander one associates with a Vladislav Delay production before settling into a lightspeed techno workout.

Field recordings too, whether they're storms or children's cries, also distance the album's material from the stripped-down character of many a minimal dance outing. The track times are unusual too, with four of them (the experimental pieces “Doorstep,” “Snowy Scenery,” “Intermission 1,” “Evil Miss 21”) under two minutes in length and one tipping the scales at a dozen minutes. It's the latter piece, “Theme for Sunday,” that's the album's peak, not on account of length but because it's the most powerful and arguably most ambitious. Linzatti first anchors the club-styled raver with a hellacious broiling groove but then replaces it halfway through with a lovely ambient episode where angelic voices resound against a backdrop of celestial elements and outdoors field recordings. It would be no exaggeration to say that it alone makes the album worth hearing.

November 2010