Reverse Proceed


Electronic music pioneers Slam return to their home base of Soma with their brand-new album, Reverse Proceed. After tireless months in the studio, the Glaswegian duo are ready to unleash what is easily their best body of work to date. Not only does this album capture where the two are at musically at the moment, but is an extension of their unending fascination with all things Electronic. Lending their 22 years of experience to this new project, Slam have delved into the past for inspiration while simultaneously heralding future technologies in the production process. Conceptually, Slam wanted to have the human experience in mind when recording and to base the architecture of the album around "the sequence." This led them to a locally-built hardware sequencer called the "Sequentix Cirklon" that became the heart of the album. Allowing them to access older machines and also a modern modular synth set-up simultaneously, Stuart & Orde merged live manipulation and recording techniques to full potential to bring soul to the album. Reverse Proceed is more than an album; it is a well-defined experience built on the principle of the sequence. Having been meticulously woven together to create a seamless listening environment, Reverse Proceed aims to capture the audience and guide them through the sonic landscape of the album. This method allowed Slam to fully explore the concept of the album being more than just a collection of tracks but rather a thoroughly immersible piece. With this concept in mind, the album's opening drifts in over the course of several tracks as the malevolent "Tokyo Subway" opens what is the ambient first third of the album. Tension is built through sweeping pads and dubbed-out synths, leading perfectly into the more delicate "Visual Capture," where a sea of field recorded rain splashes over subtle bell tones and dream-state strings. The title-track begins with intensity as pulsing sub-bass fills the void with yet more time-induced percussive fluctuations though synthesis, the haunting pads giving more depth to this deep, evolving track. The hardware at the center of the album takes hold now as "Cirklon Bells" brings a slight edge of melancholy to proceedings. Heavenly pads bring "Synchronicity" into existence as we hear the first semblance of a 4/4 make its way out of the depths of the ambience. "Ghosts of Detroit" stamps that typical Slam sound on the album. This ode to the Motor City sees an almighty melodic upheaval as tones begin to form complete harmonious coexistence and the album sees the shift into a more dancefloor-oriented state of being. The ethereal interlude of "Relevant Question" proves to be little respite, as "Pattern A3" stomps in with flourishing modular-based sequential tones and sparse, kicking 909 drums -- the album's defining heads-down techno moment. Tweeked-out, delayed and cerebral, "Factory Music" continues on perfectly as yet more off-kilter sequences makes heads spin with its subtle use of FX and crisp percussion. The wail of "Convolute" keeps things in check as discord swells enough to keep you ready for the solid and hypnotic "Catacoustics." Dark and brooding, it sets the tone for "Irritant," with its broken beat and roomy percussion riding spaced-out, otherworldly forces. "Rotary" helps see the album out with its elastic synths and driving rhythms, showing Slam's credentials as straight-up dance-floor killers. As we finally wind down from the journey, we are brought into great depths with the sublime "Resolved." Modern techno albums come and go, but the dynamic duo of Stuart McMillan & Orde Meikle have once again raised the bar for the world of techno.