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Eleven years is an awful long time in electronic music, eleven days is long enough. Which makes this first LP for over a decade from Birmingham lynchpin Anthony Child aka Surgeon all the more remarkable.
It's not as if he's been holed up doing nothing. Child is a burning-star on techno floors the world over, 12"s of DTR solo-material have dropped in fanfare, and yet his ardent faithful have waited and waited for a follow up to records like the peerless "Force+Form" and "basictonalvocabulary". It's safe to assert, "Breaking The Frame" will not disappoint.
A sublime bodytrip into the heart-of-darkness, Child's fervid talent with texture and grain, noise and silence is blinding across these nine compositions. Surgeon does beatless as well as he does 5AM, heart-race frightening. Cold, floating washes of industrial drone soon become heavily infected by bass-pressure on par with anything out there, pummelling metallic drums speed you into hyperdrive, tempo's burn from dubstep strut, to careening, primitive 180 techno a la Ancient Methods, Sandwell District, Shackleton.
Crucially (like his earlier work) the 'floor material is far from linear; tracks ooze and melt into distinct movements, sinister ebbs and rusted flows, prime sonic-narratives to soundtrack the dance, ready to catch those red-eyed souls, lost in the dark. Between the breathless E-rush, Childs has an unnerving ability to caress those with bad-heads ("Presence" sheer harp-bliss, "Not-Two" sustained choral voices) or prolong the come-downed into nightmarish sound-worlds ("We are Already Here", "Dark Matter").
Much like long-time affiliates Sandwell District and their Feed Forward LP, Childs has shown us, definitively, that there is life in the old techno-dog yet."
Words by Alex Wilson.