Nebula EP / Nebula Remixes
The fittingly named UK electronica outfit Posthuman isn't shy about acknowledging its cyborg techno leanings, especially when one of the tracks on Rich Bevan and Josh Doherty's latest EP is titled “Tessier Ashpool”—a reference to William Gibson. What we have here are five originals and, conveniently packaged (for reviewing, anyway), a related set of four remixes from Nightwave, Kirk Degiorgio, Datassette, and The Host (a new alias of Boxcutter's Barry Lynn).
The EP's futurama tone is set by the ominous opener, “Synapses,” a crisp acid-techno roller whose lashing beat snap Posthuman spritzes with voice fragments and synth flurries. The track certainly fulfills its presumed goal: the listener comes away from it watching the skies in dreadful anticipation of some imminent alien attack. More dancefloor-directed is “Tessier Ashpool,” which tightens the acid-techno knot by slathering the tight pulse with funky rave stabs and brooding sci-fi touches. “Marrus Environ” slows the tempo a tad for a move into experimental dubstep though even here the Posthuman persona never gets lost in the shuffle, especially when a series of dramatically ascending synth chords flood the back half of the track. A brief bit of cryptic spoken text introduces “Genetic Coders” before the cut sets off on a Warp-styled exploration that culminates in a grandiose synth episode of acid-splattered menace. Perpetuating the dystopic mood, the title track rounds out the half-hour EP with a slo-mo landscape dotted with hard-hitting snares, garbled voices, and threatening synth snarl.
The remixes are a fab bunch, to be sure. Shifting the focus from sci-fi to the club, Nightwave gives “Marrus Environ” a “Ravemix” treatment whose jackboot thrust and shotgun claps are deliciously merciless; Degiorgio turns “Tessier Ashpool” into a lethal acid-techno piledriver that would sound right at home in an Ostgut Ton mix, while Datassette's take of same reimagines the tune as an aquatic house experiment armed with murky burble and rushing hi-hats; “Marrus Environ” returns one final time, this one an electrofied footwork opus by The Host that seethes so determinedly it verges on terrifying. Put the EPs together and you've got fifty-three more minutes of future-funk electronica to add to Posthuman's gradually building discography.