on 3 June 2011
It's hard to believe that techno is 20 years old now (roughly), and having been into it since it's birth in rave I often reflect on how it has evolved. The answer for the most part is that it really hasn't! Especially in the last 10 years or so the majority of techno has become either extremely dull and formulaic, or has sought out questionable ways of perpetuating itself by drifting towards commercialism (i.e. this boring new upbeat 'party' techno which seems to have infected Ibiza). I'm not saying that all techno produced today is rubbish, it isn't - it's just that nothing new comes out which has a comparable impact to the earthquake-like developments of the early/mid 90's - who remembers when Surgeon and the Downwards label came to prominence; or when the Swedish scene emerged in Planet Rhythm and early Cari Lekebusch and Adam Beyer; or Basic Channel; or Pacou?
Anyway, then you have Emptyset - a hope for the future! Both this and their self-titled previous album are enough to restore faith in techno. Like the pioneers of old, they seem to just throw aside any pretensions and worries about genre definitions, club 'sounds' and what their peers are doing - and instead just get down and rock it! The true spirit of techno is fully alive in these recordings.
Some would say that it is influenced by dubstep, but I don't think that does it justice. It would be far too easy to just make technoy-dubstep and say it was new, but that isn't what's going on here. The music is modern and therefore it draws on the rhythms and sounds of today, which of course includes dubstep - but it goes beyond mere fusion and is original techno in it's own right.
Anyway, buy it and keep a very close eye on these two. Remember the roots of techno!