Bloodletting EP by Bound [SEANCELTD01]

The first in a series of limited releases from London’s Seance imprint is an attractive splatter artwork vinyl housing a 4 track EP from the elusive Bound.
‘Inspired by the grey melancholy of South East London’ says the artist’s Facebook page (and not much else), this is thoughtful and emotive techno, that reflects that mood entirely. Bound has also previously released music on the ‘Spectralband’ label, and has a pair of industrial tinged cuts recently uploaded to his Soundcloud page. There is clearly more to come. On to the music…

The original mix of ‘Bloodletting‘ is a pacy, broken beat number with a rolling, deep-as-it-comes sub line. A steady bleep with just the right amount of echo leads in at the top as the groove develops, and the first breakdown is dominated by a beautifully understated plucked synth loop. There’s some inventive use of percussion here, the first set of hats don’t follow a straight 4/4 pattern, and add to the chunky vibe. Long, breathy notes give the track an organic feel, and really emphasise the developing set of sounds. From here, the elements weave together and tension increases moving towards the end, which is a slow fade of everything except the kicks and bleeps. This is a fantastically deep, heads down piece of techno, restrained where it should be, powerful where needed and it’s superbly produced.

Amsterdam based duo TWR72 take a bouncier, upfront approach to their mix of ‘Bloodletting‘. The vibe of the original is perfectly retained and sharpened up with solid 4/4, added energy is injected with some variations to the groove, chattering hats and claps bringing up the pace – this is a more energetic offering than the original, yet it retains the intelligence and restraint. The breathy synth notes of the original are polished up and brought to the front, and take the lead for the second phase of the track, underpinning some brilliant, natural sounding hi-hat work, it sounds like a live drummer was on this! Again there is the long second section and slow fade to an abrupt end. This is how remixing should be done.

Contamination by Association‘ is a different beast altogether, a much darker tone with isolated kicks and ethereal background notes bringing the unease for the first minute. The percussion is muted, allowing a glitched tom drum to take the lead, emphasis provided by a rising, shaking, percussive line. There’s a pretty shattering breakdown at 3:25, a deepening air of jacking menace developing as the track kicks back in. There’s no showiness here, this track would not be out of place in a dark Berlin basement at 6am, an excellent track on the darker side of things.

The final cut ‘From Ruin‘ travels a similar path, even darker really, powerful 4/4’s and wobbling sub bass anchoring some epic synths, hard on the attack and long on the echo and decay. The kicks get heavier, the synth gets sharper, clipped percussion keeping time as the layers build to peak and then slowly subside. You just know there is another peak coming after this and sure enough it’s delivered in a powerful and understated break, the atmosphere is spot on allowing another build. Other-worldly, sci-fi music of the highest order here, washing echoes everywhere, brilliant work and my pick of the EP after much deliberation.

SEANCELTD01 is a due for pre-order on vinyl shortly and should be in most stores next month, grab it while you can. The digital version is available now via the Bandcamp and as a Beatport exclusive until Monday 2nd October 2017 when it will be available across all stores

Reviewed by Stringer

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