Four releases in and The Bunker New York are beginning to build a reputation as the home of some serious Techno. For a city that was once very much in the shadow of the two Midwestern Behemoths, New York has certainly risen to new heights over the last few years, nurturing such an array of talent that it’s beginning to look slightly indecent.
But where the ‘usual’ New York sound of scruffy, analogue House and blistering Industrial Techno has been all but cornered by a raft of labels like L.I.E.S, White Material or Anthony Parasole’s The Corner (to name but a couple of what would seem to be an almost limitless gang) The Bunker NY have gone off in a slightly different direction, providing music that is as deep as it is heady. It’s not only a nice counterpoint to the fierceness of the other stables, but a sign of vital growth within the scene itself.
Turkish born Mehmet Irdel’s debut, however, is a slight departure, particularly if seen against the releases by Clay Wilson or Voices From The Lake. Whilst the record is no less deep and trippy than the previous entries, there is the addition of a layer of grit and scuzz that propels it forward.
Pressure Chant itself is a curious proposition, like Trance written by a mugger. The handful of notes that provide the riff that tracks through the tunes entire length recalls Hardfloor’s seminal Acperience 1 in its relentless march but takes the music in a very different direction as it vanishes in and out of an ensemble of chimes and bleeps, accompanied by an indistinct, distant pad that provides an airiness, giving space to what may have otherwise been a claustrophobic and disorientating rush of pure sound. The drums themselves are as vicious as anything else coming out of New York just now; barely controlled rage sharpened with razorwire percussion that keeps itself in your face until disappearing at the last moment, leaving you with a sense that something has just happened to you. It’ll probably take a couple of listens before you begin to work out exactly what. I’d love to hear this in a club with a decent sound system. My bets are on it causing euphoria and panic in just about equal measures.
The flip side Private Transgressions opens with a darkly cinematic mindset but warps quickly into a piece of heavy Dub Techno. I’m not a great person to talk about Dub, I have to admit. It’s not a genre that has really ever done anything for me, the chugging basslines and oceans of reverb tend to leave me cold. Løt.te, however, has taken the basic formula and reworked it into something paradoxically tighter and more expansive than normal, The typical wobblyness reduced in favour of some deep space weirdness, sharpness instead of the traditional fug and a sense of direction that is so often missing. While it doesn’t really scale the same warped highs of Pressure Chant, there is enough dystopian smoke and darkness to provide exhilaration.
An interesting debut on an increasingly interesting label. It’s difficult to say where either will likely go from here, but that’s part of the fun, Isn’t it?