Firmly entrenched in techno’s haziest alcoves, every new record from Denise Rabe is as punishingly hypnotic an experience as it aims to penetrate the deepest laid of your cerebral zones. Having plied her trade on Arts’ sub-division Arts Collective before moving on to establish her own dedicated label, Rabe, in 2017, the Berlin-based DJ and producer steps up with her much anticipated debut platter for Stroboscopic Artefacts, as she takes the helm for the fifth sortie of the Totem series. True to her love for all things droney and psychoactive, this time Rabe has us descending into rugged, hostile sonic terrains with just a headlamp and the thick mantle of darkness for closest companions. Ahead’s a demented safari across nightmare-prone visions and thunderstruck vistas.
Hosing off the loud, churning 909 kicks and passive-aggressive machine talk straightaway, ‘Manifesto’ sets the tone for the warehouse-sized hammering to come. Evil-minded swashes of hyper-delayed percs and criss-crossing chimes lash out in successive waves, further subjugating the dancers as bars fly by. A more spacious and atmospheric number, B-side opener ‘Clouds’ heads for quieter high-altitude spheres as the dubbed-out drums beat an off-kilter, leftfield friendly pulse and ominous synth stabs and pads envelop the listener in entrancing textural folds and interplays. Back to floor-ready dynamics, the adrenaline booster ‘Don’t Leave’ caps it off on a truly mind-bending tip. Primed for unrelenting peak time action with its angry buzzard-like drones, pacey 4/4 swing and refined palette of eerie circuit noises and click-y minimalism, this one’s a high-impact steamroller, sure to get maximum response when things start getting muscular.