Unmistakably Shed, The Killer LP delivers with a tried-and-terrific blueprint that will please techno revivalists.
“If you do not hear this...” the robot intones, on the opening track of an album sporting the grayscale cover art of a well-worn woofer, “...You will not feel it.”
Sub pressure and distant luminous strains roll into frame. Back to business - with the latest longplayer from the inimitable Shed.
As it is, we’re in extremely familiar territory on The Killer, with Shed changing little of his sonic palette since... ever. But no one’s complaining when it’s such a tried-and-terrific blueprint, with potential as exhaustible as the rave generation’s yearning for nostalgia - which is, of course, inexhaustible.
So we return to amply revivalist techno embracing both sweat on the dancefloor and weed-room ambient, best synthesized on ‘VIOMF!/The Filler’, an excellent, classy slice of 90s rapture:
Smeared all over the track are Shed’s trademark breakbeats, which morph into a different, lurching beast on the stepping accents of ‘Day After’:
Other ingredients of the hardcore continuum are laced into The Killer broth, and dressed in Shed’s unmistakably squashed and distorted drumwork - check the unrelenting warehouse weight of ‘I Come By Night’:
Almost flawless in technicality and execution, it’s a solid record throughout, but - and there’s always a but - for an artist predicated on sentimentality, Shed’s output has curiously, progressively invoked less and less emotional response since the headier days of ‘Estrange’ or even ‘Leave Things’.
Maybe it’s to do with his relocation to Modeselektor’s 50 Weapons label, and while a perfunctory Shed still outshines most of his contemporaries, it doesn’t mean it’s something to get overtly enthusiastic about.