Witch: Vent (PT/5)
Witch’s debut 12” for Brit label PT/5 is an absolutely toxic scorcher. “Vent” is mean and biting, with a double-time noise snare/hi-hat that lends an extra layer of ferocity. About halfway through, distorted, sharp acid zaps drive the arrangement, anchored by a thick, relentless, fuzzy kick drum. It all blows by at a pretty fast clip, which is precisely why the Truss rework that follows is a crucial complement. It’s slower, more patient, less dense, more crisp. Truss isolates sounds and layers in an awesomely clean way, replacing Witch’s distortion on the drum tracks with something cleaner, deeper, no less physical. It gives it a snarly, old school EBM quality, especially when its acid stabs are syncopated in clever ways and the mix is clean enough to breathe despite its abrasive palette of source material.
“S2007” is very much the B-side here, a tuneless rhythmic excursion that begins with all mids and no punch, a buoyant slab of distortion. A little over two minutes in, things snap into place and levels spring to life, with a punchy rhythmic lurch punctuated by what sounds like a pneumatic drill for a snare. It has the aggression of Perc Trax or Stroboscopic Artefacts at its harshest but with an added pummeling edge that qualifies it more toward adventurous DJs or headstrong listeners. Shifted’s reduction of “S2007” takes it to a completely different underwater place, with virtually all of its energy diffused into a murky, drippy, moonlit dive. It’s definitely one for headphones more than the dancefloor, but the EP is solid all around for both purposes. Highly recommended.