Paula Temple – Colonized / R&S Records
The return of R&S has, in general, been a success – Untold, SDC, Airhead, James Blake and many others have released great material on the label – and now, they celebrate the first female solo artist to sign to the label in its 30 year history. And what does she release? Dirty, harsh, grindingly dissonant techno.
The lead track Colonized is a great piece of work. Combining a rolling, deep kick, teeth-grinding sweeps, tribal percussion, and layer upon layer of tweaks, glitches and hits. The arrangement changes every few bars, avoiding the obvious 16 bar patterns of most techno, adding just enough melody to the noise to keep you paying attention, while dragging you along as it goes.
On the flip, Perc steps up with the first of two mixes. His Metal mix has a more standard repetitive beat, and swaps the sci-fi style sweeps for horror-movie creaks and screams. Maintaining, perhaps even increasing the industrial nature of the original, the first remix does suffer somewhat in keeping my interest a lot less than the original. The constantly shifting layers of Temple’s original have been trades for a simpler loop, and while the edits and breakdown 4 minutes in are punishing, I can’t say I would freak out on a dancefloor to this as much as I would the original.
Finishing off the vinyl release is Temple’s Cloned. A masterpiece of rhythmic interplay, snappy beats and a huge kick provide a steady headnodding beat interlaced with stirring fills, tons of tiny edits, what sounds like snippets of guitars and vocals before glacial pads sweep in to complete the track. As soon as this happens, the track breaksdown into infinite beat variations
On the digital release, Perc provides his second remix. The Bubble mix sadly suffers from some of the same issues as the first – after such intricate beat work, something as loop-based as this sounds sluggish in comparison. Fortunately the more melodic nature of this remix provides something of a contrast. The vaguely aquatic synths fluttering against the beat, combined with barely noticeable filtering, help provide a crescendo of sorts to the track.
Finally, Paula provides a final installment in the form of Decolonization. Pushing the editing of the previous tracks to the forefront, this seems designed more as an art piece or set closer than either of the previous parts, being mostly a loop from Colonized fed through stutter effects with echoes and bleeps rebounding around the listener, but eventually it breaks down into an almost choral midsection, removing most of the percussion only to reinstate it as the track draws to a shuddering, imploding close.
All in all, this is a fantastic release from Paula Temple. If it’s taken 30 years to find a female solo artist of this quality, it could well be another 30 before they put out another début this good.
Paula Temple – Colonized [R&S]
Paula Temple – Colonized
Paula Temple – Colonized (Perc metal mix)
Paula Temple – Cloned
Paula Temple – Colonized (Perc bubble mix)
Paula Temple – Decolonization