There’s a moment in Objekt’s track “Unglued”, self-released by the artist last year, where everything stops and a punishing bass rips through the mix. Musically it serves no purpose; its deployment is purely intended to create a physical response, and heard in the confines of Plastic People last year, it felt like a cruise missile had just flown through my ribcage.
It’s difficult not to use the language of warfare when describing Objekt’s tracks, given that they’re so akin to sonic weapons; when he’s not creating the kind of basslines that could make you vomit, he’s creating techno with all the militancy of Underground Resistance. His first two EPs displayed a production mastery which rightfully catapulted him into the premier league of dubstep/techno crossover producers, but there was a tendency for him to meander slightly (the 7-minute “Unglued” is a case in point). There are no such criticisms to be levelled here however: this 12” feels leaner and more focused, giving each side over to a distinct version of the two styles he takes the most from – dubstep and techno. “Cactus” is ostensibly the dubstep side; its wobbling bassline recalls Mala’s savage productions, tweaking the oscillators just enough to make the bass scream whilst keeping things tasteful, despite its unhinged metamorphosis into a raygun at the halfway point. Rhythmically, the percussion recalls 2562’s crushing broken-beat with a swing that’s undeniably UK influenced, given all the more punch with its reversed snares and reverb soaked percussion.
If “Cactus” is the record’s tactical nuclear missile, going for a blanket approach, then “Porcupine” is its focused aerial bombardment, with compressed kicks raining down their fury from above like laser guided missiles. Structurally it’s an inversion of “Cactus”; instead of all hell breaking loose at the mid point, it lets itself catch a breath, its maelstrom of pummelling beats easing off, giving way to a cloud of swimming chords with a diamond-like clarity with all the purity and focus of Jeff Mills’ best productions. DJ battle weapons these tracks may be, but when they’re this good, it’s hard to dismiss them.