Planetary Assault Systems: The Messenger (Ostgut-Ton)
Luke Slater revives his PAS moniker for this full-figured longplayer, and it’s probably the best thing I’ve heard from him. I’ve only dabbled in his repertoire, to be fair, but the last round of PAS material I heard was quite aggressive, and this album is something more sleek and minimal, more understated. It takes its time, with half of its 12 tracks running over 7 minutes, and Slater plots out an expansive journey from start to finish. It’s way more of a slow burn than his previous Temporary Suspension album, starting off with a murmur in opener “Railer (Further Exploration),” and then slowly shifting into more active material. By the time you make it to “Rip The Cut,” Slater’s matched the furious sounds of his backcatalogue, but it’s not without a significant and prolonged trajectory to get there. It’s that journey in dynamics that makes The Messenger such a rewarding listen, quite focused on the minimal side of techno yet covering a subtle but significant range within that realm. The arc from start to finish is really at the core of what makes the album so satisfying, much greater than the sum of its tracks.