Jan St. Werner

Spectric Acid

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Jan St. Werner's previous solo releases as part of his Fiepblatter series have contained lengthy orchestral explorations and opaque digital drones, generally eschewing rhythmic structures and percussion. They tend to be spacious and sprawling, but not averse to flaring up into abrasive noise. Spectric Acid, the fifth Fiepblatter volume, is on an entirely different plane than its predecessors, and pretty much anything else Werner has ever done, including his solo project Lithops and his work as part of renowned duos Mouse on Mars and Microstoria. Straight to the point, Spectric Acid hits hard, sounding like a feverish ogre continually ramming its head against massive, elaborately constructed sheets of metal with the jackhammer force of gabber and hardcore techno, minus the precision. The rhythms are sporadic and unstable, and never beat in a straight path; instead, they attack with sheer, brute power in fits and starts. There are a few very subtle nods to jungle during the 11-minute monolithic opener "Acideous Welsh," with some breaks tucked away underneath and loads of blown-out bass mutations, but this is closer to the deconstructed abstractions created by Fis or Shapednoise than any traditional drum'n'bass producer. "Victorian Trajectory" features endlessly rolling snare drums hammering away under swarms of psychedelic noise, bringing to mind the torrential harsh-scapes of Daniel Menche or Kevin Drumm. "Insuline" seems to bang against a thinner surface, and splashes a tiny bit of suspenseful synth melody in the mix, along with a rising siren-like tone. After a pregnant pause, it starts back and becomes more intense. "Solo Winslet" does without percussion, but its microsound ultra-glitch is equally brain-warping. Brutal and immediate, Spectric Acid is one of the most forceful, powerful things Werner has ever created.

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