20 March 2007


It's funny how certain artists kind of drift off my radar, sometimes for years, but then I gradually become aware of them again - like Anthony Child aka Surgeon, who's been exerting a strong gravitational pull recently. His name seems to crop-up in all the right places, and then I hear things like his remix of Monolake's "Alaska", which draws me inexorably back into his orbit (and anyone needing a crash course in Surgeon-lore better go check his website).

Like Villalobos, he's another established Techno dj/producer who's been acknowledging the influence of dubstep, though in a very discreet way. To get a good idea of where his head is at these days, check his recent mix over at Spannered, which has a nice sense of pace and development, running the techno gamut from frigid 4/4 through broken/dirty electro-flavours (I'm still a sucker for the old distorted kick drums) and using a few tunes that I've also been mixing with during my practice sessions in recent times, like the old Jeff Mills 'Enforcement' mix , 'Handwerk' by Add Noise and 'TV Controls Your Mind' - one of my favourite tracks by Warlock precisely because it has that sparse, techy feel about it.

Surgeon's latest release is the "Whose Hands Are These?" EP, a 12" four-tracker just out on Dynamic Tension Records. The real eye-opener here is the Autechre remix - I was amazed that they'd come up with such a hard, propulsive version after so many years of abstract, undanceable nonsense. In some ways, the whole EP reminds me of that period around 1994-95, when Autechre and others were making some incredibly experimental electronica, but still with enough of the black stuff to make it work on the dancefloor - remember the 'Basscad' and 'Anti ' EPs? It's not melodic, but the beats are punchy and the textures are crunchy. Serious shit. I'm well up for it.