Detroit electronic veteran DJ Stingray (Sherard Ingram) is a former live DJ for the legendary Detroit electro unit Drexicya.
As you’d expect from someone with this background, Psyops for Dummies is impeccably produced and subtly-but-emphatically futuristic.
‘The Sadist’ is edgy from the outset and a great scene-setter. Constantly intensifying cold textures coil around an atmospheric voice sample, discreetly hinting at various dark scenarios. As it progresses it subtly creates a growing and unresolved sense of controlled panic and hysteria that’s never fully released.
‘Fullbodyscan’ features a synthetic female voice issuing the command “begin scan”, followed by strangely scrambled beats, probably intended to emulate the jerky motion of a scanner. The track then turns fast and very cold, with metallic textures to the fore. It’s stricter and more minimal than Drexciya, but similar in the way that the sounds bring to life a hyper-futuristic scenario.
Rippling alarm bells also give it a motivating, energising quality. It decelerates again towards the end before resuming the chase. Intentionally or not, it has a definite industrial atmosphere; some of the textures are similar to those used by Spanish veterans Esplendor Geometrico. This is the most interesting and intriguing track that justifies the rest of the EP.
By contrast, ‘Strategy of Tension’ starts off living up to its title, with tight electro beats and flanged sounds working very effectively, but then diverts into a funky, tension-free interlude more typical of the softer side of Detroit techno. This strategy of slackness doesn’t really seem to belong here and the two parts might have been better split into two separate tracks.
Closing the release is ‘Disinformation’, a slower track, very low-key and experimental. Although quite dark initially, more ethereal chords gracefully emerge to create a much more utopian atmosphere. While firmly in the tradition of ethereal electronica and not radically innovative, it’s a very thoughtful track that brings the EP to a serene end.
Out on September 28th on USB Flash Drive from Presto!? RecordsPresto!? Records