Signs album cover


Peak Oil

Once the dub techno template was etched into metal by Basic Channel in the 1990s, countless generations of producers have refined it further and further. Could you conjure entire galaxies with just bass frequencies, empty space for the kick, and motes of dust? More awe-inspiring refined atomizations of bass and electronic sound have followed and LA’s Peak Oil label releases a fair amount of them, as their latest signing Purelink makes clear. The six tracks that comprise Signs are luminous and blissed out, seemingly emptied of almost anything extraneous. Yet the group is comprised of three producers: Tommy Paslaski, Ben Paulson, and Akeem Asani, who have also released music as Concave Reflection, Kindtree, and Millia, respectively. Try to pinpoint any moment here that denotes three people at work at your own peril. Its surface is remarkable, a refinement of a refinement. But it’s a calm pond busy with tadpoles and minnows as you listen closer; its miniature elements teem with motion, Like the wind carving lines into desert sand, glints of drums, cymbals, piano, and echoes carefully accruing into gently shifting patterns. Another solid Peak Oil discovery.

Andy Beta

The stars aligned on this record. Brooklyn trio Purelink had been releasing various flavours of neo-chillout, trip hop and ambient techno for a while, but on this 2023 mini album they truly found a transcendent groove. On it you can hear echoes of the classic dub techno of Rod “Echospace” Modell and Pole, the melancholic ambience of Kranky’s more electronic artists like Loscil, even maybe a hint of late Drexciya circa Grava 4. But really, while it’s on, references are the last thing on your mind, because more than anything else it’s about pure comfort. Not mere analgesia or softness, but a total aesthetic comfort, like entering the safest of safe spaces where everything is just how you like it. It’s blissful.

Joe Muggs

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