Conforce – 24 review

Conforce’s music remains loyal to techno– tough, driving beats saturated in electronic funk – but also nicely incorporates the dub elements of Basic Channel, Dub Taylor and Rhythm & Sound. Having released records on Rush Hour, Curle and Delsin his sound is synonymous with deep, throbbing bass, sweat-inducing synth work and rounded, warm stabs soaked in reverb – a particular aspect which gives his true form of techno another dimension.

The 24 EP for Clone’s Basement Series gives us tough cuts in varying degrees, but every track maintains the quality that you’d expect from such a well-rounded artist and firmly established label. “Grain” opens the EP with broken voices layering on top of one another while conga drums delicately skip between a rough four-to-the-floor beat. As the track progresses, so does the intensity; fleeting glimpses of an acid line snake their way to the front of the mix, cold enchanting voices, spectral moans and spots of sonar blip fight through this jungle of sound. Hissing cymbals and rattling textures all mount each other, each element vying for control of this multi-layered sonic orgy.  The fury of the kick drum breaks for a moment, giving this cacophony of transcendental sound a chance to come up for air, before the pounding rhythm compels them to thrust and writhe against each another once again.

“Be There At Night” throws you in at the deep end, the shuffling arrangement immediately grabbing you by the scruff of the neck. Dub-techno stabs come charging to the front, immediately mutating a settled groove into a sharp-edged techno weapon. The percussive movements are weaved throughout the mix, working the hi’s and rim-shots against each other, making the track roll and sway among fierce keys that ravage the senses. The low-end continually pounds forward, chest-shattering frequencies emblazoned with inherent future-funk.

The title track is an underwater gutter rhythm. Pulsating tones set the pace for another dub-infused sonic assault, the whole beat intermittently switching-up throughout. The song builds slowly, walking you through the day – an ever-present recognisable pattern that flows and moves with each passing moment in 24 hours. “24” utilises a large range of sounds, each element capturing differing moods, structured so that each sphere of emotion works in tandem. The track stands out for its ability to measure varied depth of feeling over an undercurrent of driving, urgent beats – holding its listeners desire to dance tightly in its grasp.

Gesloten Cirkel’s remix features a hint of the spectral voices that we heard on the rest of the record, but saturates the kick drum and gives “24” a complete makeover. Gesloten’s remix flows through a pattern of melancholic synth work, soft and hypnotic pads humming through the angelic chorus of sparkling sounds. The difference from the rest of the record is notable; it marks a departure from the full-bodied warmth of Conforce’s production, but one that stands up as a quality piece of music in its own right.

Frank Mitchell


Tracklisting:

1. Grain
2. Be There At Night
3. 24 (Gesloten Cirkel remix)
4. 24