Jens Massel doesn't belong to the hard core of Raster-Noton, in spite of his first appearance on the German label being as early as 2000 - with “Trial”, the first of his four albums (on this platform; he has three more on Karaoke Kalk, which are more melodic IDM). He's not part of that hard core, because he isn't one of the founders, nor has he dedicated himself exclusively to the label, and also because his sound is closer to the more mischievous (the more 'pop', for lack of a better word, in the vein of Kangding Ray) side than to the highly experimental branch of Alva Noto and Byetone. Yet, their paths go in the same direction, and right now, “Dazed” is one of the most interesting titles in the catalogue. It's only two tracks, on which Senking seems to progress towards techno with low-frequencies and sharp textures, parting from indie-tronica with a shoegaze background. These frictions, so hard to reconcile, are exactly what's so fascinating about the EP. It makes it one of the little Raster-Noton highlights of the year so far.
“Dazed” is a progression (or maybe we should say continuation) of the material included on “Pong” (2010), on which he experimented with similar situations. A-side “The Dance Hall Walk” meditates on an elaborate meeting between dreamy and digital pop (simply said, the Morr school) - with a kind of rhythm, or better, un-rhythm, that has been typically Raster-Noton, ever since Pan Sonic and Sleeparchive. The track sounds both hypnotic and rocky, ideal to start a techno set with, or to speed up an IDM session. It contrasts with side B, “Closing Eyes”, which is calmer and more hypnotic (reminiscent of early Biosphere), built on comatose beats, dense atmospheres and vocals that sound like they're coming from a lunar radio transmission. All-enveloping and asphyxiating music, both lucid and experimental, and one more reason to take Senking out of the background where he usually hides and start to consider him once and for all as one of the biggest European electronic music talents of the past ten years. And that's no exaggeration.
The Dance Hall Walk