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Various Artists – Stellate 2 review

With a number of release series to its credit, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Stroboscopic Artefacts was a long established label – the reality is markedly different of course and Lucy’s label has been in existence for just three years. That it is able to persuade producers of the calibre of Silent Servant and Roll The Dice to contribute to its compilations says a lot about the status it enjoys within techno music. Perhaps such respected acts are impressed with the fact that, as Stellate 2 demonstrates, the label quite often operates at the fringes of electronic music. The tracks from Dadub on the compilation suggest as much; “Endless” and “Refraction” are deep, chord -heavy compositions, swelling and climaxing but without the 4/4 anchor that would make them effective dance floor tracks.

They are also not representative of the mood that the second Stellate captures. For a better understanding, listeners should turn to the droning textures, crashing drums and jittery vocal samples of Silent Servant and Luis Farfan’s “La Negra Luna” and the duo’s vortex of noise on “No Te Debia Amar”, or indeed the Hammer House of Horror keys that prevail on Roll The Dice’s “Ritenutol”. The same sense of unease is audible on Plaster’s contributions, with the stop-start glitchy rhythms on “Seber” and “Udis” also imbued with atmospheric textures and eerie atmospheres rising like rings of cigarette smoke. Difficult to define and hard to pin down, the fleeting mood and shadowy feel of Stellate 2 explains exactly why Stroboscopic Artefacts has become such an essential outlet.

Richard Brophy


Tracklisting:

A1 Dadub – Endless
A2 Dadub – Refraction
B1 Silent Servant & Luis Farfan – La Negra Luna
B2 Silent Servant & Luis Farfan – No Te Debia Amar
C1 Roll The Dice – Ritenuto
C2 Roll The Dice – Bad Tempered
D1 Plaster – Udis
D2 Plaster – Seber