Reviewed By: Andy Green
Welcome to a new reality……Things have turned around for humanity. In a bad way. Now the clones are the ones in power and searching for the last hideouts of human survivors in order to exterminate them for good. This is “Persecution” on Grounded in Humanity (GiH) by Ohrwert and David Hausdorf.
More tangibly this is the 10th of 12 releases on the artistic deep techno label Grounded in Humanity releasing out of Spain which has featured an enviable list of worldwide producers. The label and this series also narrates a metaphoric science fiction story where each vinyl reference represents a chapter, comprising a comic and an introductory speech (b2 track here) to further articulate the plot of each episode – for those who like an extra dimension and meaning to their music and some cool artwork in their collection, this is a strong motivation to follow the label.
The techno on this release is essentially dub but consistent with the rest of the GiH series is a level above what has become saturated landscape of me too and derivative sounds. There is still some space and an appetite from this reviewer where the productions provide some quality and musicality.
Ohrwert is one of several alias of Arjen Schat who has been releasing music for over 10 years; notably on Silent Season, Field Records and Greyscale. The A side track “Valle Marineris” is an adventurous 17 minute long dive into the deep ocean. The journey is patient, gentle, pensive but not overly sombre. We get to hear the tracks elements reveal themselves in a long overture before a kick drops around 5 minutes. For those versed with this genre the sounds and phrases of the track are familiar…..a warm bassline, some hiss, a simple hat, and reverberating chords. On this track its all done with love and care and the track settles into a smooth and nurturing groove without the track length becoming a distraction. Just a footnote about the pressing since this is a vinyl only release and label. 17 minutes of techno is a challenge to squeeze onto a single12; but top marks here to Jose Rico for loud and clean mastering.
David Hausdorf is a classically trained producer who first releases appeared in the late 90’s. After a longish gap, its great to see him releasing again and more recently this has been on Minimood which has gained a solid reputation from it most recent releases. Hausdorf productions always impress with their warmth, musicality and high production values and those are also evident on ‘Sci Fi’. The sweetness and clarity of recently refurbished Prophet 5 are a treat on the ears here. It is a lovely chugging, punchier track than the A and once again familiar sounds of dub techno prevail but just wonderfully weaved together. Spacious reverberating chords around a killer bassline and metronomic high-hat. Halfway through, a fuzzy melody elevates the track even higher whilst low frequencies continue to press firmly. This is certainly the more club focussed track on the EP.
Overall another rewarding and high quality chapter to the GiH series. The two tracks here + interlude are well matched, complimenting each other in tempo, mood and feel. 250 copies only and never to be repressed so you would be sensible to hunt one down before the clones take control. Persecution is out now and can also be bought directly from the band camp site: https://www.groundedinhumanity.bandcamp.com