Various Artists
Orange Zero Six

A pretty satisfying combination of solid clockwork crunches and an unsettling, unsettled undertow.

By David Gunn

 
"You heard me, soldier – close you eyes and count down to black zero zero..."

So (maybe) goes the mission statement of Struktur Records. Set up with the express purpose of releasing seven compilation releases before imploding, Struktur records are a pretty focused proposition. Starting out with Red Zero Seven and heading through various colours of the rainbow over the coming months, there isn't much room for manoeuvre. But judging from the quality of Orange Zero Six, maybe Struktur should keep away from that self-destruct button for a little longer.

The highlight probably kicks out quite early on with Kutchi's Ancorage – a monumental slab of clattering beats, 8-bit gabba and choral death song. But then again, Chris de Giere's bricolage of grainy modulation and skittering breaks is pretty compelling... and so too is the frantic drum and bass of Peachfish. Suddenly i'm not too sure...

I suppose I could take this apart track by track, but it just doesn't seem right somehow. One of the greatest strengths of this collection is its cohesion – although the artists do vary in texture and influence, the clarity of Struktur's focus is clearly to be seen in the shared principles underpinning the music. Although melodies curl in and out through most of these tunes, the rhythms are always the central thing – with the production clear and uncluttered by extraneous ideas. Which isn't to suggest a minimal aesthetic – in most cases this is unrestrained, temple-crunching dance music. And although its not at the sharp end of experimentalism, at its best there's a compelling restlessness at the heart of this music – leaving a pretty satisfying combination of solid clockwork crunches and an unsettling, unsettled undertow.

So the Struktur countdown continues in suicidal style. But maybe we shouldn't be too concerned. Although struktur may be careering towards its doom, the [d]-tached label seems to work as some Jekyll to Struktur's Hyde. Actually, that kinda doesn't work, since they're both releasing a similar form of dark, blood-meat electronica. But judging from Bovaflux's recent Red Sector EP on [d]-tached, the same spirit of crunchy propulsion is still in clear force. Maybe this isn't epoch-defining or world changing stuff, but its consistently interesting and entertaining – and I'm looking forward to the Black Zero Zero shut-down party already.
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