The latest release on the interesting Halocline Trance label brings together David Psutka (Ceramic TL, Egyptrixx) and James Connolly (Dance System, L-Vis 1990).
It follows in the wake of Ceramic TL’s Sign of the Cross Every Mile to the Border, the previous Halocline release. Compared to that bold soundtrack to environmental catastrophe this is a lighter release, but it retains some of Psutka’s harsher sonic edges. Here the duo have aimed to produce a ‘a sense of relentless euphoria’ and while it may be a digital-only release, it packs plenty of punch, above all on the imposing opening and closing percussion-led tracks.
‘Limit#01’ is a strict percussion workout based around a quasi-march rhythm that suggests a more linear, dancefloor-oriented release than this actually turns out to be. The direction begins to shift on ‘Limit#02’ is punchier but colder at the start, but heavy-duty bass and what seems to be a mangled vocal sample lend it an increasingly demented air of controlled chaos.
‘Limit#03’ slams on the brakes abruptly, decelerating into a curious soundscape of new age synth chords and colder stabs that flirts slightly with self-indulgence. Momentum is soon regained on the more uptempo and energetic ‘Limit#04’, marked out in its final section by cold, clean stabs.
The mood switches again on ‘Limit#05’, a more convincing downtempo track. A blurry electronic pulse and slightly icy ambient textures are allowed to intermingle with warmer tones, creating the sonic equivalent of two opposing currents battling and mingling. This restrained mood continues on ‘Limit#06’, a less contradictory and more stable ambient piece.
Everything finally comes together on ‘Limit#07’, the most energetic and impressive track on this release. Its frantic electronic textures and resolute beat make a strong impact and must sound very impressive on a big club system.
Overall, this is a curious and oddly sequenced release, but one that definitely has intriguing and powerful elements. Halocline Trance are issuing some distinctive work and the unfinished or unstable elements seem to be a part of the label aesthetic.
HALOCLINE TRANCE HTRA003