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Headless Horseman – Headless Horseman 4

Is this really what the world needs right now – another anonymous techno series? Certainly the person or persons behind Headless Horseman do themselves no favours in their efforts to stand out with “Execution”. While the track is a decent broken beat workout with some endearing dubby nuances, it is similar to the vast majority of industrial-flavoured techno doing the rounds.

Headless Horseman - Headless Horseman 4
Headless Horseman
Headless Horseman 4
Headless Horseman
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Thankfully, “Legend” is a far more interesting proposition. The beats are raw and unrelenting as sharp snare bursts and heavy claps accompany the slamming rhythm. But it’s the finer details of “Legend” that really impress –  the half heard screams of the deranged,  meteor bursts crashing through the arrangement unexpectedly like the glass shattering in The Velvet Underground’s European Son and in the background the sound of sharpened blades being deployed as percussive ticks a la classic Photek. If that isn’t enough to pique your interest, then the “Sharp Cut” reshape by Ancient Methods is worth checking.

Most Ancient Methods fans speak in hushed tones about the act’s ‘war funk’, but this writer finds the German producer’s subtle twists and turns far more interesting. Ancient Methods takes this approach to rework “Legend”. Starting with a sample from an old black and white movie, the reshape then focuses on tough but blurry drums and a searing riff that gradually builds, sounding like hundreds of pissed off hornets trapped in a glass jar.

Like Gesloten Cirkel’s recent remix of Mark Du Mosch and that DJ Sprinkles take on The Mole, Ancient Methods also drops the chopped-up crossfade effect. In this instance, it’s used to mask the fact that while his drums are operating at a slower pace than normal, they still have the power of ten-tonne truck. Like the original version, the remix shows that underground techno producers need to use their head as well as their heart to stand out from the hand-stamped pack.

Richard Brophy


A1. Legend
A2. Execution
B1. Legend (Ancient Methods Remix)