Brooklyn’s Fifth Wall, run by Hound Scales and Divvorce, have taken it upon themselves to release the debut EP from Unklone, an alias for a somewhat mysterious Leeds-based producer who’s been very busy in the studio recently. “Designated #41” is just under half an hour of techno productions, lead by the wonderful “Tetsuo”, which rightfully earned itself a coveted spot on Surgeon’s Rinse show this week. Named after the the central character of cult Japanese film Akira, “Tetsuo” is a fittingly dystopic exploration. It opens with the kind of merciless kick you’d expect from a big room track, but its unnervingly persistent bells, sampled from the film itself, aren’t about to let themselves get bossed around. A track which takes you by the hand and then squeezes, hard, “Tetsuo” is a mesmerizingly nightmarish, but decidedly danceable groove which coordinates moody echoes and choppy percussion into one tight composition. Careful to give each element the space it needs, for all its layers this is a cleverly restrained production, assured in its own pervasiveness.
Atmospherically “Tetsuo” calls to mind Skull Disco‘s totemic releases, an influence that’s even more palpable on the EP’s second track, “Sleep”. Aiming its punches more squarely than “Tetsuo”, “Sleep” perhaps takes less risks but remains a sharply made piece. Unklone is a young producer coming into his own, as evidenced by the level of discipline shown on this release. “Sleep” is another deftly controlled track, which locks its kick in tight the better to allow the rest of its dub laden components to stormily swirl around it. Clouds stepping in to remix “Grit 555” is a shrewd alliance: the original is a booming, industrial size headnodder, juxtaposing concrete percussion and monstrous vocal samples with the same efficiency witnessed on the “Tannhauser Acid Works Pt. 1” EP. The remix is fuller but takes its time to build up to its true might, ending “Designated #41” with the same depth and darkness that it opened with. Fresh stuff from young blood – colour us very impressed indeed.
Stream: Unklone – Designated #41 [Fifth Wall]
“Designated #41” is out now on Fifth Wall, digital and vinyl available.