Review: Shed ‘Traveller’

‘Traveller’ / Shed

CD / MP3 / 2x 12″ LP; Kompakt

Released August 30th 2010

Fresh off the back of his podcast for Resident Advisor, Shed unleashes his latest long-player. And while the content may seem a million miles away from what most would label techno, scratching the surface reveals a hidden truth that’s better than you’d dare to believe.

Following the ambience of opener Stp2 we’re dropped directly onto the dancefloor of today when beat shifter Keep Time begins its incessant drum march. Percussion and light pitched hook are all that carry a track that takes the mechanical elements of dance to its heart, and thus represents a sound championed by countless jocks- from techno to garage.

Later, once The Bot has taken its dubby synths and sparse beats from the equation track of the album Atmo-Action rightly grabs any right minded listener’s attention. Wind organs trip into old-skool breaks with jump-up hooks, while industrially edged beats underpin proceedings and keep it all fresher than a field of daisies.

Glitch-hop, or whatever the kids really call it, also finds good representation here. 44A just about steals the show thanks to its blend of stabbing strings punctuated with heavy plodding kicks and a repetitive groove. But fans of house from yesteryear will find more to smile about in …Can’t Feel It, where piano and orchestral harmonies loop through analogue sounding effects, only to emerge saturated in one of the most bizarre time signatures we’ve heard.

An album of many parts, with many equally appealing elements. From the half-time DnB of closer Leave Things to HDTRM’s John Tejada style futurist techno-trance, the quality’s here in spades. And with so much crossover appeal yet another long-player from the Kompakt camp should find itself in plenty beats, dub and breaks dominated record collections alongside the traditionally targeted shelves.