Blawan

Wet Will Always Dry

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

Blawan's long-awaited debut album is full of the suspenseful, banging techno he's been known for since the early 2010s. His sound has changed dramatically during that timespan, however. First associated with the post-dubstep scene, then lumped in with an industrial techno revival along with producers like Perc, his work since 2015 has focused on modular synthesizers, resulting in some of his most daring sound design. Tracks like "Tasser" manage to weave gritty, abstract patterns to a steady beat, creating music that could fit in any techno DJ's set but easily stands out. Notable track "Vented" is grounded by a huge echoing kick drum, which frames a tantalizing mixture of crackling textures, sinister sequences, and what sounds like the blaring horn of a truck as it's about to run you over. "North" has a similarly massive beat, and its melodic patterns are a bit trickier and more sophisticated. Gradually, it sounds like a mysterious blurry figure is edging closer and closer. Blawan's 2017 EP Nutrition incorporated his soft, disconnected vocals, and they return here on the dazed "Careless" and the fluctuating "Stell," a dark house-leaning track that never sits still. Blawan remains a master of controlling tension, never quite hitting the listener over the head even though his beats are heavy and relentless. He's only shifted from strength to strength throughout the 2010s, and Wet Will Always Dry is yet more proof that he's one of the decade's greatest techno producers. Undoubtedly one of the best techno albums of 2018.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Title/Composer Performer Time
1
5:32
2
6:02
3
6:21
4
7:00

Track Listing - Disc 2

Title/Composer Performer Time
1
6:24
2
6:09
3
6:51
4
5:51
blue highlight denotes track pick