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WK7 – The Avalanche review

The Power House label debuted in 2010 with the “It’s A Love Thing” 12″, which contained two relentless interpretations of a track boasting a kick drum that would make Kerri Chandler blush. The combination of this weighty thud, 909 hats and 90s rave stabs made this an unlikely – and somewhat hard to find – underground anthem. Only available from Hardwax in Berlin, it quickly sold out and many hushed conversations were shared about who was behind the release. This being 2011, the cloak of mystery was eventually – inevitably – lifted, with René Pawlowitz (aka Shed) outed as the producer behind the Head High alias. There was even a re-release this year on the equally surreptitious H2 Recordings (albeit without the excellent Power Cut version that graced the original), making it available to a wider audience.

Soon after came the follow-up, from an artist named WK7, which also remained a Hardwax exclusive until earlier this month. It’s safe to assume that Pawlowitz is again behind this new moniker (although the B2 remix credits “additional production” to Shed – a deliberate attempt to muddy the waters perhaps), and considering the towering nature of the debut cut, “The Avalanche” is a worthy follow-up. This is throbbing, muscular party techno, and again the punishing kick forms the centrepiece around which all other percussive elements fall. Reigning blows down without sympathy, it’s the sonic equivalent of sticking a firework up the dancefloors’ collective backside.

On the B-Side, “High Power” is just as incendiary, although, like all the Power House tracks, it’s much more than just a dumb slice of peak time dance music, and is riddled with detailed nuances. A passion for old school production methods and an obsession for intricate sound design are evident as throwback chord stabs bounce off pounding beats and oscillating synths. The Hardcore PCK mix of “Higher Power” tweaks the original’s 4/4 structure into a concrete slab of brilliant broken beat techno.

Aaron Coultate