“Ten years since his last album, Surgeon returns riding a nine-headed beast on 'Breaking The Frame’” - Boomkat
…And that, ladies and gentlemen, is by far the best review of said release that anyone could hope to find. Yet there exists a perverse few amongst us, who get off on writing/reading nothing less than the lengthy and wordy, so let us ramble onward…
Its been anything but a decade in the musical wilderness for the one known to his momma as Anthony Child – in fact, Breaking the Frame conclusively proves that he’s been engaged in the most high-calibre training of both beast and beastmaster himself.
There really is a whole lot on the back of this record: consider the now-legendary expanse of musical influences encompassed by his remarkable DJ sets, on top of the embarrassment of riches that is his discography. Put two and two together and it makes sense that BTF channels a revised and updated merging of his separate legacies – with blunt British Murder Boy techno on one hand, to avant-garde excursions as part of Diversion Group.
The first real highlight, ‘Transparent Radiation’, lurches around like a disciplined T++ let down by a busted Gain knob; its misshapen basslines stapled to a marching beat. But such dynamic tension exists only for Child’s application of mischief – expressed here with a sparkling curtain call of silvery melodies.
Right in the middle of the LP, though, lies the biggest baddest crown on this monster: ‘Radiance’. Lustrous black hole physics ignited by raw energy and crushing pressure; rush after rush of a giant battering boomer mercilessly decimating everything in its way – and more. Could this be, in all the right ways, the heaviest track I’ve ever heard in my life? I don’t know…
Then there’s the one oddity of a straight up 4/4 Berghainer in ‘Those Who Do Not’: its striding perc and cavernous filters tailor-made for the canon popularised by today’s ‘techno mecca’. But tracks with beats of any sort constitute a minority of the album’s playing time, with greater attention devoted to fashioning sonic swells of shape and texture.
As such, an all-round Steve Reich-esque richness of electroacoustic space and atmosphere features prominently. Interspersed with his oft genre-defying reading of contemporary techno, the result is a masterclass underlined by his ever present penchant for doing exactly as the album title says.
There goes a story of how circa 1996, mentor Mick Harris (aka Scorn) deposited a young and then unknown Anthony Child in his home studio, telling the boy: “Go mad. Don't stop to think, just do it. Whatever's in you, get it out." A few days later, this lad yielded the essential Surgeon debut, Communications: fast-forward 15 years, and I daresay that with Breaking the Frame, Child has managed to both adhere to and surpass such sagely advice. The world now has one more phenomenal record that succeeds at being, at the same time, all revolution and yet evolution; all message and still fundamentally music.
01. dark matter
02. Transparent Radiation
03. Remover Of Darkness
04. the power of doubt
07. We Are All Already Here
08. those who do not