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Shifted - Crossed Paths

Mote Evolver

If you know one thing about Shifted, you’ll probably know you know nothing about Shifted. If you know two things about Shifted, you’ll know he spent a decade under another name, in another genre, before becoming disillusioned and unleashing a new techno-focused alias with a slew of releases in the past 18 months. This purple patch has resulted in this debut LP on Luke Slater’s Mote-Evolver imprint.

Whoever he is, Shifted certainly read the rulebook before jumping genre ship. Along with the anonymity and a moody aesthetic (nicely established through his high-class grot-mag blog) his music is a muscular, thoroughbred pigeon snugly ensconced in its hole. That’s far from a bad thing: when driving, hypnotic, techno is done well like this it’s a joy to consume, whether through Funktion-Ones or headphones.

The first 12 minutes are a long, slow start, as the ominous ambience of “Yearning” flows into the muddy “Out Of Tune” which might be a drag in the wrong frame of mind (oiling up at Bora Bora?). The LP enters the wormhole proper with “Bleeding Through”, a heavy, grainy loop and the distant sounds of industry. “Coax” is even more stripped-back, though this time the loop is knotted with more ethereal elements, making something perhaps more Dozzy-in-the-backroom than Dettmann-in-the-main-room.

“Leather”, suffocating production particularly on-point in a box full of neat tricks, gives way to the insectoid “Colour Of The Fall” as the album builds to perhaps its most functional, club-friendly tracks: “Suffocate”, crisper, cleaner, with coiled percussion reminiscent of Robert Hood, and “Lexis”, a hypnotic top-line over a thumping kick that would surely loosen the grime off the walls of even the largest of warehouses. Only “Relict” doesn’t work so well, mainly as the key sound sits too high in the mix for me, overwhelming a slightly pedestrian bottom end.

Towards the end, and “More Static (Reduction)” echoes (literally) the percussive side of the Basic Channel sound very effectively, while unfortunately pushing my audio capabilities beyond their limit and forcing me to lust once more for the illicit possibilities of a pair of overpriced open-backs. Finally, “Disconnected” is an adequate bookend, a heartbeat fading to smeared drone, the album spent.

It’s a difficult trick to make a set of primarily floor-ready tracks (for certain values of “floor”) that also works as a home listen and an album to boot, but Crossed Paths makes a compelling stab at it, and it’s clear that even if Shifted hasn’t arrived fully-formed, he’s on the way there. Highly recommended.

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