This vinyl release is the work of associates of the new Viennese techno label Bare Hands.
Available as a limited run of 300 on 140g black vinyl with hand numbered postcard‚ it’s a specialist release but one that deserves a wide audience. ‘Mir’ may mean peace, but the Russian track titles have a slightly militaristic air and the dark mood fits our New New Cold War era disturbingly well.
‘Bumerang’ works well as an ominously energetic, massively bass-driven introduction. Insistent, filtered high frequency sounds maintain the tension right up until the high-impact reverbed ending. Titling a track ‘Eshelonka’ (Echelon) implies a track that means business and its punchy, EBM-like bassline, pulsing electronic patterns create a memorable effect, simultaneously rough and smooth.
On what some of us still call the B-side, the minimal and sharp-edged, ‘Obvalka’ ratchets up the tension, drawing comparisons with the darker recent work of Adam X and, going back much further, to the Cold War atmospheres of Front 242.
Opening with cold, mechanical textures and punchy beats, ‘Betushnye’ develops into a wonderfully dark and bleakly anthemic closer. There’s a residual warmth in the superbly-produced bass but this can only be the prelude to or aftermath of some bleak scenario. Мир stands out in an over-crowded techno market, both sonically and conceptually, and leaves a lasting impression.