Available on: Prologue 12”s

Munich’s Prologue Records is increasingly becoming one of Germany’s most prominent techno labels, making their name the old-fashioned way off the back of a series of amazing, distinctive releases by producers like Cio D’or, Donato Dozzy, and Giorgio Gigli. The man who originally kicked off the label, Italy’s Dino Sabatini, returns with a double set of EPs that continue the tradition of dark, cave-dwelling Italian techno, the likes of which has been pushed for years by Dozzy and Gigli and (honorary-Italian German) D’Or.  In reality an album’s worth of material, the two heady 12″s (the first Daughter of Phorsys, the second Daughter of Phorsys: Recall) stretch the Prologue sound to its limits, where all the layers are translucent and dangerously malleable.

Despite their apparent fragility, Sabatini’s tracks are as driving and forceful as any of his counterparts. The difference is that the energy seems to course tentatively through his tracks as potential rather than kinetic, occasionally breaking through cellular walls for intermittent bursts of noise. He takes his time letting his songs unfold, if even that; the first EP’s opener ‘Stheno’ does away with any high frequencies, letting the jagged low-slung sounds percolate for seven minutes, particles colliding until it nears breaking point and then the track fizzles out. It’s this kind of belated release that makes these tracks feel more like functional tools han a magnum opus: definitely EP fare here. There’s no discernible sense in the sequencing or progression, which is a little disappointing given the titular relation and conceptual pairing, but there are enough great sounds here to make it worthwhile anyway.

Across the first EP we’re treated to the same sound, fiercely bassy tracks each with their own unique flourishes: ‘Hyginus’ is straight horror vibes, creaking noises and a squealing organ hidden in some tiny fold amidst larger layers of sound, as awfully tubular bells begin to ring out in urgent alarm. The second EP burrows even deeper into some unseen chasm, ‘Scylla’ feigning house before it explodes into a white-hot industrial massacre, while ‘Tethys’ rumbles so ferociously it’s a wonder that the track doesn’t crumble from the inside. Oddly enough, it’s digital-only bonus track ‘Ovid’ that steals the show, its elastic electro leanings giving it the most confident, straightforward feel of both releases. With these EPs, Sabatini makes a further case for both the importance of Prologue and long-deserved recognition of the Italian sound; you can call it whatever you want (please, please not “headfuck techno”), but it’s going to blow up anyhow.

Andrew Ryce



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