Planetary Assault Systems ‘The Messenger’

Planetary Assault Systems / The Messenger

CD/ Digital / Vinyl 

Ostgut Ton / Released November 2011


What does it sound like? 

Techno legend Luke Slater isn’t reinventing the wheel on the latest long player released under his Planetary Assault Systems moniker via Berlin’s Ostgut Ton. But then this being Luke Slater’s it was always going to be pretty uncompromising, and the result of his efforts will no doubt be music to the ears of anyone after firm, rolling, mainroom futurism.

Which is probably the best description for the contents of this album. Save for the first track, Railer (An Expedition)- a beatless, futurist’s ode to synthesizers that oozes mood and poised atmosphere, a suggestive downbeat soundtrack made non-chill out because you know what’s bound to be coming soon, if not next. Then eerie and intimidating low ends marry whispy white noise, before robot funk beats and hi-hats strut forward for Beauty and the Fear, a dark contrast to the album’s almost uplifting opening. If you were waiting for the steam engine then this isn’t it, but by now you can hear it coming round the bend.

When it finally does arrive the punch packs some weight, in terms of kicks and hooks, what with Bell Blocker being one of those techno tracks that will refuse to go away, a mind-infecting, upbeat number of glockenspiel melodies and subtle half-breaks, setting things on course for a satisfyingly tough outing. Wriss uses reversed cymbals to create a continuous build, meanwhile a minimalist bleeped barritone and short, sharp vocal stab are pretty much the only other noises that exist, before additional percussion joins the fray to ensure we reach 5th gear. We could go on to describe more, but you should get the point by now; music for heads on floors.

Where would I dance to it? 

Fabric Room Two, amongst other places.

What highlights can I expect to hear? 

The aforementioned Bell Blocker and Wriss are certainly up there, as is the lunatic computer symphony that is Kray Squid, though the serious but bouncy closing number, Black Tea, finishes things off in fine style. That said, anyone looking for where the machine gun rhythms and ‘can’t find the way out of these strobe lights’ intensity went should try Rip The Cut.

Why should I pay for it? 

Luke Slater.

Where can I buy it?