René Pawlowitz, otherwise known as Shed, enters what could be the beginning of the end with his fourth album, The Final Experiment. Coming almost ten years since his scene-stealing Shedding The Past debut and countless monikers that have seen him consistently refine his sound while pushing forward some of the very greatest techno, breakbeat and ambient records to emerge from Berlin since the early to mid-90s days of Basic Channel and Chain Reaction.
Having debuted in 2004 with the reverb-drenched techno that was the Soloaction EP for Delsin, Shed almost instantly followed this up by starting out on his own with the fittingly titled Soloaction label. An imprint designed to drive forward his singular take on the minimal dub-tech sound that was popular within the worldwide club scene at that time. Not content with just one imprint, the years after saw upwards of six labels (that we know of) launch with various pseudonymous - Head High, WK7, War Easy Made, WAX, Equalized - This fetish for small run vinyl-only labels, released via the Berlin institution Hard Wax would become a trait Shed would become famed for. Often using new monikers to explore ideas that rotated around techno, house, dubstep & notably breakbeat (D&B pioneer Marcus Intalex was once quoted as saying 'Shed is the Dillinja of techno, just making these f*cking amazing records!') yet it's most notably on his albums as Shed that he pulls influence from all of these alter-egos to provide a concise snapshot of where he has come from and where he will travel to next.
Pulling its album title from the still active 12" imprint The Final Experiment, Shed's fourth album finds him surveying his discography to date, cherry-picking the greatest elements of past glories and transfixing them into something daringly new. From the Lower Upside Down echo of Taken Effect to the EQD # 005 springboard techno of Black Heart, The Final Experiment exudes a rather contemplative mood. One that while it boasts peak time 'Berghain' focused floor fillers such as Razor Control the Final Experiment appears to be Shed's way of distilling his past club-ready productions into something that's more designed to expand your mind than your moves.
Fittingly titled The Final Experiment, the music found within feels like the next logical step for René Pawlowitz as an artist. Having done more than most to contribute stream after stream of essential records towards underground electronic music and nightclub culture over the years, The Final Experiment has a feeling of being his final route around the club, a way of coming full circle while shedding the past and pointing the direction forward for both himself as an artist and the legions of us that will continue to follow his every move.