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Sendai: Geotope (Time To Express)

On his own Time To Express label, Peter Van Hoesen collaborates once again with Yves de Mey as Sendai. Their first full-length album combines the two artists’ strengths, while having their own proprietary outlet for this material gives them license to wander far away from trends or accessibility. This is not to say that Sendai is difficult listening necessarily, but it’s a far cry from Van Hoesen’s tightly crafted techno tracks that characterize much of his repertoire. This material is closer to the leftfield sounds of Yves De Mey’s solo album on Sandwell District, as indicated by the murmur of “Terminal Silver Box” that kicks the album off. At times the duo strike up a groove, like on the broken pulse of “Following the Constant” (which frankly reminds me more of Lucy than of Van Hoesen’s tracks), the insistent drive of “EP2012-4,” or the skittery step of “Further Vexations,” once it gets going. Elsewhere the sound is more fragmented and less predictable, like the irregular sputter of “A Refusal To Celebrate a Statistical Probability” or the hushed flutter of “Win Trepsit/Brief Delay.” “Geotope” is the culmination of both sides of the spectrum, with a plodding 4/4 kick that serves as an anchor to various effects and sounds that meander overhead. Fans of Van Hoesen’s down and dirty techno tracks may be surprised by how esoteric these tracks are; clearly de Mey has strong pull in the collaborations as it’s not so far off from his Counting Triggers album from last year (which is also quite good, by the way).

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