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  • Release Date 2011-05-18
  • Label SCI+TEC
  • Catalog TEC049
With its new release, SCI+TEC Digital Audio steps away from its usual high-octane throbbers to explore the murky depths of minimalistic sound with SHDWPLAY, one of Americas most interesting new techno duos. SHDWPLAY are Shoddy Lynn and Skyler Taugher, and unusually for a techno outfit they are also punk and indie rockers. As a teenager, Skyler was a kind of rebellious skateboarder who wanted to be like his classic rock musician father, while Shoddy was a punk rock chick who digged bands like The Clash. Somehow they each ended up independently discovering Los Angeles underground rave scene and getting sucked ever deeper into the citys techno scene. After they met at a party in LA, they began jamming out in a studio together and collaborating on tracks, and by 2009, they had released their first music.Remarkably, you can hear SHDWPLAYs punk and indie rock backgrounds on their debut SCI+TEC EP Drama Queen. Whilst the beats and bass are clean, crisp, and tonally rich, there are pockets of sinister vocals, warped melodies, and a smidgen of rebellious rock attitude on the EP that offers something completely different for techno fans.The black, stripped back groove of lead track Drama Queen is a curiously wonky number. The brilliant lead line teases its way into your mind with clever changes in FX, release, and position that help the track to remain on that magical dancefloor edge between reason and nonsense. Drug of Choice sees SHDWPLAY lose themselves even more creatively, with an unconventional story-driven tune. The track tells the tale of a boy and a girl who meet in a club, as Shoddy and Skyler take on microphone duties to play their respective parts. With the male vocal pitched down, and radioactive sirens and subtle percussion flickers driving the deliciously empty cut forwards, its safe to say Drug of Choice is one of the weirdest and most unique techno tunes youll hear all year.Smoothies chugs forwards at a brisk pace thanks to a repetitive percussion train. Theres a foreboding sense of loss of control, as SHDWPLAY increase the head-spinning factor with their quirky vocal snippets (a defining factor of their music). With a few subtle FX and a dash of digital cleansed bleeps, Smoothies is one of those rare tracks, where wonk and hypnotism are part of an overall ideology and aesthetic, and not just from a sample pack.The EPs final track Skeleton Dance features a regular heartbeat of drums, whilst its FX and percussion skin seem a little more alien. With bleeps that practically jump out of the speakers, rib cage rattling hits, and an adventurous breakdown, it continues the EPs fine tradition of mind warping minimalistic seduction with style.(Words: Terry Church)


Drama Queen

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