Sigha - Abstractions I-IV (Hot Flush, 20 Feb)
Awww yeah. Sigha's new 12" for Hot Flush expands his range even further and confirms him as one of the most consistently interesting producers of modern electronica, blending industrial, drone and techno to brilliant effect. Whilst previous EPs have been a solid blend of techno and dubstep, with one more surreal number tacked on, Abstractions is firmly centred around Sigha's more disturbing machinations, with only How To Disappear working a conventional techno groove. Opener Something in Between Us is a beatless, glacial drone sketch, channeling a fair dose of Eno or Ulrich Schnauss and building up a wall of ambience that peters out far too soon for my liking. Working with a similarly frosted aesthetic, Sigha continues with the Autechre-esque Where I Come To Forget, which delivers a pallete of blips and snarls that continually threatens to morph into breakbeats, but resolutely fails to ever kick off. The absence of notable breaks and drops will doubtless infuriate, but the cold, mechanistic feel that permeates the record translates beautifully to repetitive, minimal structures.
As the title suggests, Abstractions appears to composed of extracts from live jams, with more attention given to sculpting sounds than to crafting DJ tools, however How To Disappear's eventual four-to-the-floor rhythm makes for great dark techno. With its gasping reverb and three-note melody, it sits somewhere between Sleeparchive and Regis and begs to be given a workout on full soundsystem. Closing off the record is Drown, and appropriately aquatic, polyrhythmic dub-techno number that feels similar to the Black Dog's more recent industrial experiments, albeit without their gift for a strong technoid narrative. Whilst the overall minimalism and lack of drive may render the EP less accessible to some, Sigha's ear for sound and dynamic continues to improve, and it's an enjoyable challenge to DJ with.