Monday, October 25, 2010
Shed - Shedding The Past (2008)
Shed seems to be an artist that exists somewhere in the nether-realm between Berlin/minimal techno and London dub sensibilities. Whatever you want to call it (I personally have a strong distaste for labels because I think they sometimes oversimplify the music), it's extremely well delivered. Shed is one of very few artists that I would put near the same category as Richard D. James, and that's really saying a lot if you know how absurdly obsessed with him I've been over the years. The main criteria for that is just originality of sound and delivery mostly and he excels in both those categories. And for the record, I'm also taking into account his newer release, The Traveller, which I'll review in the near future.
The album, Shedding The Past, does to some extent seem to live up to it's name, but in a kind of an ironic way. It gets back to the basics of good minimal techno, with a surface-level inclination towards driving, repetitive beats. But I suppose is 'shedding the past' by reinventing them in a what ends up being a truly current, original way. Nothing too radical, just the obvious subtle difference that comes with perspective on past works, and more advanced production tools at one's disposal. With that seemingly simple format though, he is able to express a great deal within it. To the average listener, some tracks might seem overly repetitive or simplistic. But that's kind of the point of techno anyway: a slow, hypnotic build that draws you in over time.
Either way, Shed demonstrates the awareness of someone that really put serious thought and care into what they were producing, and you can sense it in the results. Much like Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works, the tracks just feel right. And beyond any description of the qualities of a particular album, that feeling towards it is really what distinguishes greatness from something relatively forgettable. This one definitely belongs to the former.
Shed - The Lower Upside Down by speedglueandmusic_raw3
Shed - IHTAW by speedglueandmusic_raw3