Daniel Avery’s debut album is a significant triumph that reflects the growing popularity of inventive industrial-based techno, writes Rory Johnson.
Following on from a relatively fruitless spell under his Stopmakingme moniker, Daniel Avery’s eponymous rise through the ranks of underground techno and indie circles has been a slick one. When a young artist is lauded by the likes of Erol Alkan and Andrew Weatherall, expectations will inevitably only rise. With a Fabric residency and critically acclaimed mix CD for the Fabriclive series under his belt, the advent of Drone Logic and its promotion by Phantasy Records has made it one of this year’s most anticipated records.
From the opening 30 seconds of the superb ‘Water Jump’, it is clear this is no typically emollient long player. There are slices of soul and delicacy throughout, where Avery’s self-confessed shoegaze admiration is clearly identifiable. Rather than clear melodies and pop sensibilities, tracks like ‘Free Floating’ and ‘New Energy (Live Through It)’ showcase the awesome, goose bump-inspiring effects a “drone” can have when properly applied.
Tracks like ‘Need Electric’ sound like they were written with a large aluminium coated rubber band and not much else.
A cocktail of chilling, lush techno and acid house textures creates a sound fresh not just to underground music but to music as a whole. A sense of melancholia is evident throughout the album’s muddy basslines, such as on ‘Simulrec’, and within the often chilling vocals. However, the occasional genius of Avery’s production lies in his snappy choice of sounds – tracks like ‘Need Electric’ sound like they were written with a large aluminium coated rubber band and not much else. Drone Logic is not just the home of some real hearty underground club bangers (‘All I Need’), but also to noise art (‘Platform Zero’) and soulful techno (‘Knowing We’ll Be Here’), providing the record with enough variety to prevent the beats from becoming monotonous.
The title Drone Logic encapsulate the tone of the record perfectly, less in the Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music mould but more in the manner of Slowdive’s Soulvaki. Avery’s record follows on from the success of recent albums from the likes of Factory Floor, strengthening the idea that highly inventive industrial-based techno should be considered one of this year’s major success stories.