Cassegrain – Tiamat

Minimal, bass-heavy and expertly detailed, these are tracks that will feel equally at home on headphones or over top-quality systems‘ – Ian Maleney on Cassegrain‘s Tiamat.

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Prologue had a sterling run in 2012, releasing one of the albums of the year by Voices From The Lake as well as the similar, and under-rated, Shaman’s Path by Dino Sabatini. These two records marked the pinnacle of the Prologue aesthetic; a deep, droning, hypnotic form of techno that is subtle and quietly devastating in the right environment. Cassegrain‘s Tiamat double-pack fits perfectly within this slipstream of aqueous techno while retaining the propulsive power the duo are known for. Minimal, bass-heavy and expertly detailed, these are tracks that will feel equally at home on headphones or over top-quality systems.

Opener ‘Taiga‘ is wide-open, with a steady central pulse offset by a quiet horde of clashing sounds echoing out in the dark. The glassy piano notes fight with a low, clanging synth pattern that never sits still. It all flits from side to side, leaving you wondering when it is going to coalesce into something tangible. It never does, rather it serves to set up the barreling sound of ‘Joule‘, a heads-down, limb-pumping foil to the amorphous opening track. The second track on the b-side, ‘Turn Aside‘ is similarly powerful, combining dubbed-out incidental sounds with a clean and driving kick. A side-chained synth eventually makes use of the higher frequencies, pushing the track towards seeming climax before pulling away to leave room for whatever gets mixed in next. A strong combination of Cassegrain personality and DJ tool malleability.

The title track is the record’s tipping point, falling first into a wash of abstract ambient sound before warping them into a pummeling blast of white noise and flickering hi-hats. It’s a tipping point because the final side of vinyl sees the duo driving on into a more distorted, high-energy place entirely. ‘Task‘ and ‘Ignite‘ bleep and move like four-to-the-floor tracks should but they combine lo-fi sound sources with distinctly hi-fi use of reverb and space to keep things fresh and interesting over the side’s 12 minutes. It’s all a world away from ‘Taiga‘ but it feels like progression rather than a wayward leap into the unknown. What begins as an absorbing exercise in abstract techno ends up somewhere less grand and opulent, but no less engaging.

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