Orphx – Hunger Knows No Law review

Canadian duo and former Juno Plus interviewees Orphx provide their fourth EP for Adam X’s Sonic Groove label, and in the process muddy the waters. Preceding releases on the label saw Richard Oddie and Christie Sealey extricate themselves from their industrial approach and focus instead on their own vision – and a bleak one at that – of club techno. On this occasion however, the lines are blurred. “Cut Through” does have the same kind of cold, detached bleeps that made “Black Light” such a malevolently addictive listen, but they unfold over a broken beat and razor sharp percussion. The key difference becomes clear as the track progresses; while the other EPs had a clean, austere sound, the introduction of a murderous, distorted bassline on “Through” makes it messier, more abrasive and like a halfway house between the Sonic Groove releases and their work for Hands.

On the flip, there is no such ambiguity; “Devourer” is based on twisted, tangled rhythms and fuzzy, feedback-filled sub bass lingering with intent in the background. “Preta  Loka” meanwhile offers  some relief – again, the rhythm is dense and off beat, but the way that the ghostly chord sequence unfolds over the seething mass of fury means it wouldn’t have sounded out of place on Radiotherapy. “Hunger” sounds like Orphx wanted to choose  between the club and their natural habitat and decided this time to head back into darkness.

Richard Brophy


Tracklisting:

1. Cut Through
2. Devourer
3. Preta Loka