Komponente: Picture of Nothing

Martin Schulte: Far Away

Rednetic recently started up a three-inch techno series with the tiny, twenty-minute discs housed in similarly-designed cases (the distinguishing detail the changing colour rectangle on the right edge of the maroon red cover). The third and fourth installments, dub-techno outings by Komponente and Martin Schulte respectively, provide a solid impression of the series' appeal.

The set by Komponente gives us three versions of “Picture of Nothing,” with the Kharkov, Ukraine-based producer's original joined by treatments by Martin Schulte and Waveform. Easy on the ears, the original cruises at a modest gait, content to soak up the scenery and let dubby atmosphere accumulate until its lightly-stepping beats are soaked in reverberant haze and its chords seem to almost melt into liquid. Schulte re-shapes the original's pulse into an hypnotic, slow-motion lurch and builds it up with even more layers of haze, crackle, and static, after which Waveform's clubbier treatment amps up the BPM without losing the original's languorous feel in the process.

Kazan-born Schulte (real name Marat Shibaev) isn't coy about any associations his dub-techno tracks might have. “Seaside” comes into view with seagulls and crashing waves augmenting a restrained beat workout of dubwise design, after which the thrusting techno of “Road” gets things moving in grand style with a graceful fusion of Echospace, Claro Intelecto, Andy Stott, and Pendle Coven. The lighter-than-air “Clouds” struts across the sky with gleeful purpose while the longest and most epic cut, “Lunar Empire,” burrows through a reverb-drenched tunnel armed with a hefty bass pulse and blanketed by blurry atmosphere. Schulte's material (which would sound fabulous on vinyl) is obviously tailor-made for those who like their techno deep and dubby.

June 2009