Blank Fade


This is the highly-anticipated full-length debut from Jon Gaiser. In a genre where artists often struggle for identity, Gaiser is one of those rare producers whose sound is instantly recognizable. The solo projects, collaborations and remixes he's created over the course of his output on M_nus, all contain a very specific signature, communicating in a language that speaks with the strangest, most intoxicating of tongues. Blank Fade is no exception, and it sees him pushing the envelope even further, resulting in the most comprehensive and impressive body of work he has accomplished so far. Alongside this he has taken full advantage of the vinyl, digital and CD formats on offer to not only produce a collection of stunning individual tracks but also to mix them together in a way that typically reflects his live performance. Gaiser's music works like a soundtrack to some hidden nocturnal habitat, full of weird and wonderful creatures that stalk the darkness -- and it's not long before we're lost in the forest of his imagination. Eerie and atmospheric, "Volve" sets the scene perfectly, drifting amid a wash of distant echoes and ghostly EFX before a solitary kick drum punctures the darkness. "Face Down" gradually picks up the pace as the beats begin alternating around a tight, metronomic snare. A pulsing sub-bass loop carries the groove while abstract vocal cut-ups penetrate deep into the subconscious. "Ground" effortlessly switches to a 4/4 kick pattern and continues the unearthly vocal theme against a sparse backdrop of crackling electricity and metallic drones. "Ciliate With" lets fly with a trademark bass riff that's soon joined by one of those memorable bleeping call-and-response riffs that could only ever be the work of Gaiser. "Whether Or Not" maintains the tension with an urgent bass line and a brutal snare that powers head-first into a swarm of warping synth lines, before "Substance B" turns in a percussive frenzy that's as devastating as it is intuitive. "Comma, Fade" ushers in a more subliminal groove, driven by a funked-up bass/organ riff and cantering percussion, while "Leave It" dims the lights once again with pitched-down vocals and distant, drifting sirens that add a hint of menace to the mix. This all sets things up perfectly for "Trunkated" -- a real powerhouse of a track, that's as complete as anything you're likely to hear this year. Molten bass, irresistible percussion, dancing bleeps, twisted synth motifs and more. "Descending Order" releases the pressure valve as distant melodies gently eat into your serotonin supply and you lose yourself in the breakdown. "One After" utilizes a sliding, bass-driven variation of the preceding melody, as the beats finally begin to thin out, allowing the slow, ambient drift of "Outline" to smooth out the fragmented memories of what has gone before.