Review: Planetary Assault Systems – Temporary Suspension

Label: Ostgut Tonträger
Catalog#: OSTGUTCD09 / OSTGUTLP04

Tracklist:

A1: X Speaks To X
B1: Whoodoo
B2: Attack Of The Mutant Camels
C1: Om The Def
D1: The Watcher
D2: Open Up

Recommended!

When I first heard the ‘Kat / Haiku’ release on Mote-Evolver, I knew that Planetary Assault Systems was someone I could count on. As the dusty old tape starts rolling on the vinyl, in the moment when the first bar of ‘Kat’ comes in, you know it will be one of those tracks you’ll always love.

Hearing the ‘Temporary Suspension EP’ on Ostgut brought out the same feeling as ‘Kat’ does. Not only does the ‘Temporary Suspension EP’ showcase the sound of PAS in a very good way, it also has two very different tracks that comes together in a great way – a way that was lost a long time ago. The persistant and alien progression on the track ‘Temporary Suspension’ keeps things going in the right direction all the time, especially when it gets mixed in with other tracks, it just stands on it’s own in it’s own way. With ‘Mark Me’, a stomping and mechanical groove with yet so much soul releases the energy of PAS in a unexpected but yet somewhere expected way.

I was surprised that both tracks from the EP earlier this year, does not feature on the album release. Also, the CD comes in a mixed version, mixed together live by Luke Slater himself. Luckily enough, the album is co-released as an LP version too. As the CD contains 10 tracks, the LP release has 6 tracks. One thing that is very unfortunate, is that the LP version does not include the four best tracks from the CD. This review is on the LP version.

When I first heard the news about a PAS album on Ostgut, I was equally chocked as well as happy. I was a bit stunned that Ostgut had taken such a rough direction in it’s sound, as well as happy because I knew that it would be a quality release.

Starting off with ‘X Speaks To X’ on the A side, PAS displays the new approach that combines his previous material as far back as 15 years. The sound he introduced then is leaning more towards an industrial approach. Although a lot of style from that era is put in ‘X Speaks To X’, he also displays the recent evolvements within techno and approaches them as well. The pumping groove from the 90’s is changed into a calmer but also stripped patterns of the persistant energy he’s always shown.

The same energy is transformed into something that sounds more Berghain and Ostgut, with the exceptional and fantastic ‘Whoodoo’. The distorted sounds on top of everything else reminds me a bit of ‘Surface Noise’, but keeps things in a more upfront attitude. Machine-like patterns get ripped up with blut tools, distorted alien fields of white noise combines the oldschool but not oldschool sounds – a track for 2009 with absolute hommage to the past.

Modern acidic energy combines the energy from the previous two tracks, wich brings out yet another side of Planetary Assault Systems sound. ‘Attack Of The Mutant Camels’ is just as strange as it’s title, kicking drums combined with a strange synth, gets accompanied with a lash clap as well as different percussional experiments. A twisted and somewhat subtle acid line fills the tracks progress and makes it into a real club destroyer.

On the second vinyl, ‘Om The Def’ keeps things much calmer, in a good way. Brewing echoed sounds combined with very aware drum programming brings out the most alien side of Planetary Assault Systems. The live and direct feel of the track gets even more obvious as the shape of the track transforms all together for some time, and then goes back to its original state.

‘The Watcher’ is the most reduced track on the LP release, with very subtle build-ups and extremely atmospheric sounds. Haunting state combined with essential techno percussions and slow but yet very active strings brings out a very mesmerizing side of the PAS sound – which bends into very unpredictable and soothing directions.

The classic sound is still there though, when ‘Open Up’ comes in, you clearly hear all the influences 15 years of production brings. A track that does not only feel spacious and timeless, it also has the sense of early Axis and Jeff Mills releases but put together in a British and european style.

My favorite tracks:

Whoodoo

Sticker Men (CD)

Enter Action (CD)

Hold It (CD)

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