Arctic Hospital: In Chaos (Lantern)
Arctic Hospital is the project of Wisconsin resident Eric Brays. It showcases his talents as a producer working within the techno paradigm, crafting tracks that are quite ornate and full in form. I would hesitate to lump this in with minimal techno – if anything, this is “maximal” as each track is bursting at the seams with complexity and nuance. It’s not majorly hook-laden, but it makes up for that in a distinct arc for each of its tracks. Each one of these pieces tells a complex musical story. Nearly all of these tracks are functional for a dancefloor but also fascinating when listened to on headphones – it is in the latter that all the detail really comes to the foreground. For example, “Paris Audio” starts off functionally enough but continually morphs into something different as it progresses, with strangely undulating layers of complex and compressed sounds. “In Chaotic Blue” lives up to its title when it goes ape shit about 2 minutes in, with a disorienting swirl of syncopated samples, snippets and beats, like Secondo on crack. It’s refreshing to hear such tightly crafted techno from an American producer, easily rivaling the most rousing moments of European producers like Anders Ilar and Sami Koivikko. It’s really top notch stuff, highly recommended.