Paula Temple
Edge of Everything


4.0
excellent

Review

by Tristan Jones EMERITUS
May 7th, 2019 | 37 replies


Release Date: 05/03/2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: I would rather be a cyborg than a goddess.

Amidst the digital age, the ‘album’ as a format is becoming more-or-less obsolete in practicality. Several producers have adopted a singles-only approach, to some success (Calvin Harris seems to be one). On the flip side, we’ve seen acts like Bull of Heaven - intentionally or not - mock the album format with compositions of literally infinite lengths. The album has become a marketing vessel for some, and/or/yet/still a suitable artistic format for others. So, there is significance in Paula Temple’s decision to release an album proper. The DJ-producer has been active for approximately twenty years, and is a live performance mainstay in Germany. Alas, I can’t fully contextualize Temple’s music via her “post-death experience”-tier live sets (I’ve never been to a nightclub in Berlin), so I’m leaning on testimonials and YouTube clips, here. The point is, she probably didn’t need to make this in order to cement herself. Edge of Everything serves as a meaningful culmination of her abilities, fluid and provisional. I’d also hazard a guess: it transcribes Temple’s visions in ways that her live sets probably can’t.

With this medium, there is less obligation to ‘read the room’ - we get more variation in themes and tempo. Moreover, any message is less likely to be lost in the shuffle. Even knowing nothing of Temple’s convictions, one can see patterns: song titles like “Futures Betrayed”, “Raging Earth”, and “Post-Scarcity Anarchism” are deliberately obtrusive. Songs like 146bpm “Open the Other Eye” give the illusion of being more glacial than they are mechanically, as the focus pans out to a more panoramic spread. It sounds like how a secret factory (in the Arctic maybe) might sound in a spy thriller. There is a sense of environment, but Iet’s not call it bio-mechanical or anything. If Edge of Everything warranted a one-word summary, it would be anthropocentric. This is an album where human influence isn’t simply prevalent - it’s an all-consuming core. Her label, Noise Manifesto, draws inspiration from the Donna Haraway essay A Cyborg Manifesto. Maybe this album is her rendition of its passages: humanity dissembled and reassembled in a bid for a collective and personal self. Or maybe it’s just good, experimental industrial techno that’s got your boy thinking too hard.

That’s the power of music in this vein (akin to Blawan, Regis, Ansome, Emma Zunz): there’s some odd incentive to ask why we’re bobbing along, as though there’s some greater purpose extending beyond the fact that it’s probably just a good beat. Sometimes this beat is disrupted, though, and astral projection ensues. “Dimension Jumping” (holding at 134bpm) is one of the more rhythmic numbers, yet the tandem ascending synth lines disorient the flow. The bass in “Quantum Unfolding” almost seems random, like expressive outbursts coaxed by the sharper synths and backbeat hi-hats. Songs that lack established beats, like “Nicole” and opener “Berlin”, allow some time to meditate, albeit with some tension. I’d argue this music belongs in the intersection of HANL-Sweet Trip-Grouper fandom, with the mammoth intensity in its depressive atmosphere, synthetic backdrops, and occasional delicate touch.

There’s been a resurgence of powerful industrial techno in the past five or so years, and it’s unlikely that Temple’s 2013 return (she had been awol for a while prior) was coincidental. Edge of Everything is brimming with a sense of purpose, and I’d avoid simply calling it “one of 2019’s best techno releases”. I mean, it probably will be, but that’s a throwaway statement. It’s more appropriate to commend Temple’s astute ambitions, here. They seem to be in-line with the motivations behind anarcho-punk, or ‘Wobbly’ folk protests, or early industrial. It just feels a bit more prototypical in its message, and more open to interpretation. Techno, in its physical manifestations (the clubs, mainly) has long been political in an escapist way. More recently, Berlin’s club scene in particular has grown more daring in self-perseveration. Temple’s brand of music could serve as a more globally-oriented form of protest. Or, again, maybe it’s just good, experimental industrial techno.



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user ratings (22)
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
JohnnyOnTheSpot
Emeritus
May 7th 2019


6738 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

https://noisemanifesto.bandcamp.com/album/edge-of-everything-digital-album

it's been a minute

missing the embed feature :, [

Relinquished
May 7th 2019


41093 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yesssss



about time she released something. her sets are on point.

Digging: Chelsea Wolfe - Birth of Violence

MotokoKusanagi
May 7th 2019


2048 Comments


oh wow, I had no clue she was doing a full length LP. extremely anxious to grab this when I get off work

Observer
Staff Reviewer
May 7th 2019


7034 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Great read

Digging: Reuben - In Nothing We Trust

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Emeritus
May 7th 2019


6738 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thx P

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Emeritus
May 7th 2019


6738 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thx new user

ComeToDaddy
May 7th 2019


1802 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'd only given this a very cursory listen but I'll dedicate some proper focused time to it after reading this. Good to see you're still kickin about Johnny, great rev

Gyromania
May 7th 2019


28321 Comments


a johnny 4 is high praise. great review, gonna listen soon.

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Emeritus
May 7th 2019


6738 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

welllll I can’t rate in 0.1 increments anymore hehe

Observer
Staff Reviewer
May 7th 2019


7034 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

This goes hard.

Gyromania
May 8th 2019


28321 Comments


raging earth is so good

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
May 8th 2019


16651 Comments


ngl, I've missed your write-ups, Mr. Jones

Digging: Kayo Dot - Blasphemy

Observer
Staff Reviewer
May 8th 2019


7034 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

the choices for track 2 and 3 are odd but hell it works.

SgtShock
May 8th 2019


841 Comments


sick cyberfeminist ref

Asdfp277
May 8th 2019


21355 Comments


paula temple swag

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
May 8th 2019


10202 Comments


Since when have you been Emeritus? Sad face

Pangea
May 8th 2019


3107 Comments


This looks good

Digging: Lana Del Rey - Norman Fucking Rockwell

treeqt.
May 8th 2019


16964 Comments


emeritus lol

hal1ax
May 9th 2019


13881 Comments


Great read

Good 2 see you around again

osmark86
May 9th 2019


9231 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

oh hype. in the daily queue.



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