Since Four Triangles was founded to release material from previously unheralded artists working in the space between house, techno and vintage rave, it seems fitting that the label’s second release should come from an analogue explorer still making his way in the world. You may have stumbled across Jonas Friedlich’s debut solo 12”, a thrillingly forthright collection of hardware workouts that slipped out, unheralded, on Molten Moods late last year. We think the five tracks showcased here offer an extended glimpse in Friedlich’s distinctive musical vision.
Opener “Penalty” is little less than a searing assault on the senses: a dystopian techno slammer built around restless machine percussion, surging dark-side electronics and the kind of foreboding, mind-altering sounds capable of reducing grown men to burned-out husks. If the cast of “Threads” had recorded a machine jam in the midst of nuclear Armageddon, it would most likely sound like this.
The producer’s love of rhythms that spit and swing can be heard on the contrasting broken techno workouts “Phant Durant” and title track “Smartphonejungle”, where short bursts of junglist energy puncture another intoxicating, post-apocalyptic throb-job. It’s acid, but not as we know it.
On “Sczigar”, Friedlich’s most trusted collaborators, fellow Carl Gari members Jonas Yamer and Till Funke lend a hand. Between them, the three men imagine an icy, windswept scene, where hissing machine cymbals, paranoid chords and speaker-rattling low-end tones enhance the bleak and forlorn mood.
Should anyone still need convincing of Friedlich’s skill, he delivers one last shot across the bows: a crackling chunk of pulsing, post-electro creepiness entitled “Deff Heidi”. While the producer’s chosen drum hits are raw and crunchy, and the bass similarly rough, these elements are offset by almost melancholic electronics. It’s a fittingly evocative end to an EP bursting at the seams with otherworldly analogue excursions. [info from ld]