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Traversable Wormhole – Sublight Velocities

Adam ‘X’ Mitchell revives his Traversable Wormhole project after a four-year hiatus. Since the last instalment, the US producer has focused his energy on the rough and raw ebm/industrial ADMX-71 project for L.I.E.S and his own Sonic Groove. In the wider world, there has also been much change; techno has sped up and toughened up, with some artists veering towards the 140bpm end of kick drum distortion. At the other end, some have collapsed in on themselves in acts of abstract navel gazing. None of this seems to bother or interest Mitchell who has taken inspiration from his own catalogue to deliver this record.

Traversable Wormhole - Sublight Velocities
Traversable Wormhole
Sublight Velocities
Hospital Productions
12", Digital
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Admittedly, this latest twist in the saga seems less detached than before, with the US producer seeking to put a focus on his immediate surroundings in this world rather than on outer space. This is reflected on the artwork, with an X-ray superimposed against the backdrop of distant galaxies. Previously, the series had consigned its broken beat tracks to the B-side, but here “Sublight Velocities” is to the fore. The rhythm is brittle and the beats are lithe and fragile like china. Presumably the reason for its A-side prominence is the bass that starts off with bowel-quaking subs and drops before morphing into a searing wall of noise like black clouds in a dusky sky.

On the flip “Sublight Velocities” revolves around a straight kick but once again it’s all about the bass. On this occasion it’s frazzled and noisy – possibly an inspiration from Mitchell’s industrial releases? – and gnaws away relentlessly as he taps out a series of Morse Code bleep patterns. The end result is an arrangement that twitches and bristles unpredictably with the raw-form energy of ’90s techno. Having traversed the outer limits on previous editions, this latest Traversable Wormhole is undeniably a product of its environment on earth.

Richard Brophy


A1. Sublight Velocities
B1. Semiclassical Gravity