by Zettel USER (47 Reviews)
November 15th, 2011 | 5 replies

Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Marvelous.

Is there such a thing like glitch-techno" Probably not, but it would be the best term to describe Xhin's second album Sword. Most of the tracks sound like if Autechre decided to tone down the weirdness, sped things up, and kept for once the beats steady. The result is a very intense album, with pulsating layers of sound crawling in the mix, creating a net effect of sheer addiction. Once the music takes possession of the speakers, it refuses to leave until the barrage of energy fade out with the atmospheric closer "This is What You Drew While You Were Half Asleep". This Singaporean producer clearly goes for a powerful sound that is also sophisticated, a sound that strikes your senses but also reaches for the brain. The opening combo of "The Secret Closet"/"Fox & Wolves" condenses the album's whole aesthetic: the former is an abstract and hypnotic minimalistic track, representative of record's most experimental side; the latter features throbbing beats, a deep bass line and odd sounds pullulating all over the place, not unlike an infectious, hard-to-resist dance of atomic particles. This explosive formula is successfully explored throughout the record, towards the end slowly evolving into a more typical techno sound, effectively cooling down the pace and preparing the listener for the finale.

It is clear that Sword is not a conventional techno album. It does not reject the allure of the power and simplicity delivered by techno music, but Xhin is not afraid of experimentation and of throwing in some curve balls, shaping and reaffirming his own style. Sword displays superb production, powerful and interesting compositions, and a refreshing approach to techno music. The midpoint reached between aggressiveness and refinement makes this record a very stimulating experience. Lee Xhin is an artist to look for in the electronic scene, and this release confirms it.

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user ratings (6)

Comments:Add a Comment 
November 15th 2011


listening now and it is interesting to say the least. brain hurts a little after medium.

November 16th 2011


Oh man you beat me to it, was just beginning to formulate a plot for a review. Nice work, and I second the Autechre comparison.

So different from Lucy's Wordplay For Working Bees it is hard to believe it is the same series of records

November 16th 2011


Album Rating: 4.5

I thought you might write a review for this, especially because of the kinda Lucy resemblance (I also saw it!) and I was almost sure you already knew of this...but who knew? If you still feel like it, write a review for it, I would be interested in reading it.

You are right, two great releases from the same label. They have also worked together in a single, it must be a real treat. But must confess, I enjoyed Xhin much more.

November 16th 2011


I'll bow to you on this one, have to get my ass into gear and write some essays and articles before I start reviewing again.

Xhin and Lucy were playing London last weekend and I totally forgot, would have been great to see their stuff live.

November 19th 2011


Album Rating: 3.0

I dug it, though it just went in one ear and out the other. Certainly a grower though, reminded me

a bit of Autechre in places which was refreshing.

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