Send me your track


Shed - Shedding the Past

SHED - SHEDDING THE PAST (Ostgut Tonträger)

Techno albums are a strange beast. Many of them want to aspire to something beyond a collection of tracks lumped together, often following some sort of shadowy, formless metaphorical aspect that is usually laced with futuristic Alvin Toffler-esque mantras that were out of date once Juan Atkins had done his thing. The best ones are those that capture a specific sound design at a particular time, namely Robert Hood’s “Internal Empire” or Morganistic’s album. Since the turn of the century however, those have been something of a rarity.

Having released a number of records since 2004 on his own SoloAction label, the mysterious Berliner known as Shed produces a debut album on Ostgut. “Shedding the Past” certainly alludes to the idea of something fairly grand, yet ultimately, given the material it’s somewhat naive. A crackly, spoken moment from the producer halfway through, like a document from the future, talking about “techno music” in the utopian idealistic way of the early 90’s unfortunately seems out of place and time in the atomised world of 2008.

To his credit given his city’s status, Shed has carved out a niche for himself with some interesting ideas in his music and there is no doubt that his production skills are second to none, but this is an album of influences rather than ideas, and although cursory listening invites the listener in, it is apparent that there isn’t much in the way of originality being explored here. There’s straight up techno that recalls Vogel and Landstrumm, slivers of Chain Reaction, the ambience of Warp, and the dogged funk of dubstep that has become popular over the last couple of years in the city. Highlights include the echoey spaces of “Ithaw” , “Flat Axe”and “Estrange”, a track full of clattering funk and emotive melody that is the album’s climax.

“Shedding the Past” has a strong narrative feel to it as the tracks are well sequenced together, but this softens the inevitable blow that there are few standout tracks that one returns to.

Toby Frith

Shed on Discogs

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>
« Records of the Week - September 24th | Main | Records of the Week - September 16th »