Muscle Trax (Opal Tapes)
Muscle Trax throws listeners a curveball from the very start.
“PowerBar Bar” is a prolonged, dingy drone that would feel at
home on Cold Meat Industry or Drone, setting the tone before diving
into murky waters that only vaguely flirt with techno. It’s a curious
combination, vaguely snarky titles that denote fitness consumerism
and the threat of something mean and beefy, only to subvert
expectations with tracks that pulse with more oblique nods to the
dancefloor, if any at all. “Weapon of Muscle Mass Destruction,”
for instance, has all of the snarl and bite of vintage Non, but its
motivation feels more physical (literally) than political. “DBOL”
has more immediacy in its rollicking beat and bass tones, but it’s
still a far cry from the roided-out beast that its title suggests.
The only track that I’d consider straightforward is the centerpiece,
“Protein Acid,” which has tinges of acid techno as its title
suggests. Its steady beat and staggered 303 zaps ground it while
another haze of surface noise and foggy reverb surrounds it. Lastly, “Drone
for the Weakest” works as a complementary bookend to the first cut,
a haze of fuzzy, droning noise. The contrast of Död’s drone material supplemented with these murky
underwater anti-grooves and muted muscularity will likely appeal to fans of leftfield and ephemeral dance music.
Buy it: Opal Tapes Bandcamp