PST & SVN – Recordings 1 – 4
Gothenburg’s Porn Sword Tobacco and Berlin-based SUED head SVN have a recent history of collaboration, with some great EPs on Acido and Kontra-Musik; 2013’s Complaints followed by Feels Good in particular are the results of these meetings and have born some curious grooves of the dubby and minimal kind. But when I say ‘minimal,’ I’m not exactly sure that’s the way to put it. Incidentally, a chap I was speaking to at the time of obtaining this record described it as ‘reduced’ techno and that’s ideally the most apt description for this collection of lengthy and repetitive trance states that breakdown the style to its most bare bone elements.
The fact that it has been titled simply Recordings 1 – 4 on their new label named, well… Recording, goes a great way to describe overall aesthetic PST and SVN are aiming for. From its retro design and typeface on the cover art, reminiscent of the packaging of a tape reel from the seventies that is even covered in dirt and rust; there’s a certain charm. Likewise the background noise of said medium, which it was indeed recorded on, is a constant throughout each of the four chapters. These dusty, decayed and smoked out snapshots are defiant of any particular era of techno; they could well have been lost tapes from 1994 for all we know; the sound of a Berlin after-hours session at Neues Deutschland that you’ll seldom ever hear about.
You’d best enjoy this release by placing yourself horizontally, as the beanbag tribalism of “Recording 1” clearly demonstrates. Supported by the most subdued of elements: woozy, distant pads, modular synth squeals and other odd one shot samples. Speaking of which, the equally slow and restrained “Recording 2” sounds just as good pitched up to +8. The only real variation coming courtesy of the gradual delay on those rusty high hats, but it’s the simplicity in its execution that’s so impressive.
My personal favourite was the third chapter on the second disc; a smacked out, reductionist Afro sci-fi odyssey that sounds like they’re playing bongos on a spaceship. Bleepy sonar melodics and darkly emotive pads give that slight Detroit sense of drama about it all. “Recording 4” kind of takes up where the Feels Good EP left off in a way and is the most upbeat track, equally suitable for club use. It’s tough, funky and the bass is overdriven by that perfect amount with those tape delayed tom drums doing the rest on a more cerebral level.
All the while, that grainy and textured background noise persists delightfully. Whether you’re going to get blazed while listening to this (you can almost hear the lighter going off in the background on some of these tracks) or try it out on the dancefloor, the choice is yours but it’s a sure shot either way. This is techno to drift to.
A1. Recording 1
B1. Recording 2
C1. Recording 3
D1. Recording 4