Search Deep Inside Yourself (Surgeon)

The continuing evolution of Surgeon's techno sound is apparent in a futuristic new EP. Review

search deep inside yourself

The Blueprint label has now been running for two decades, delivering a consistent stream of British techno releases, including those of co-founder James Ruskin.

While not prolific, this influential specialist label has released some seminal material by key figures such as Sigha, Oliver Ho and Kerridge. Surgeon (Anthony Child) first featured on the label back in 1997 collaborating with Outline (Ruskin’s collaboration with Richard Polson). To mark their anniversary he’s given Blueprint an innovative release of fresh material, moving its sonic range further into new territories.

As if to reinforce the message these tracks are not just standard fare, the title of Search Deep Inside Yourself is made up from the successive individual track titles and a continuing evolution of Surgeon’s sound is very apparent here. These are hybrid, experimental tracks that demonstrate Surgeon’s recent shift towards modular synths and stand out within his discography.

Only the opening ‘Search’ is strongly dancefloor orientated. With its rolling bass, spiralling sounds and raw edges, ‘Search’ is the most urgent and ‘in your face’ track but clearly has aspirations beyond being a mere DJ tool.

‘Deep’ is a slower, pulsing track bristling with futuristic detail (which is no mean feat in our present world). There’s a sense of process, of something highly complex being assembled on a massive scale.

In contrast, ‘Inside’ is cleaner, brighter and tenser. There’s more emphasis on electronic textures that animate it rather than on the relatively muted percussion. It constantly builds throughout its duration, even with counter balancing sub-sequences that try to drag it backwards. Around the five minute mark it starts to decelerate and morph into darker form and the final section highlights vivid metallic textures.

Finally ‘Yourself’ switches the mood again, arranging itself around a more conventional techno scaffold but adding flaring and decaying lead sequences and a twisted, gnarly undertow.

Simultaneously ominous and forward-thinking, it’s one of the strongest Surgeon tracks for a long time and a powerful conclusion to a memorable EP.

Title: Search Deep Inside Yourself
Artist: Surgeon
Label: Blueprint Records
CAT: BP044

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