Review Summary: Surgical precision

There's a symbiotic relationship between DJs and live audiences. They feed off each other's energies; even though the audience is subject to the choices of the DJ, a mindful DJ gauges the temperature of the room and elects his next track based on that. When an artist enters the studio, however, the audience is at the mercy of their urges and inclinations. Crash Recoil by Surgeon is the best of both worlds: it's a studio album informed by the artist's decades of experience as one of the foremost DJs in techno. Surgeon, real name Anthony Child, said of the album: "In the same way that bands tour songs before going into the studio to record an album, I was able to explore these songs and hone their effectiveness during my live performances before creating a studio version."

Crash Recoil's live history is palpable in that it could serve as a meat-and-potatoes DJ set on its own. First track "Oak Bank" is practically begging to open a set as its whisper-y intro unfolds into a serpentine metallic romp. Like the rest of the album, it's an anxious track that can hardly settle for a minute or two without shifting gears. With every track hovering around the 6-7 minute mark (not particularly long in the world of techno), this frenetic pace may sound exhausting, but it allows Surgeon to stay true to the art of live DJ-ing. While sounds come and go, one can feel the imprint of Surgeon behind the decks, examining and reacting to the needs of the audience. For example, as "Leadership Contest" melts into nothingness after a torrent of bassy synth, it feels like Surgeon is giving the crowd a breather after a five-track barrage. Directly afterwards, "Masks & Archetypes" brings perhaps the densest and most frenzied sound of the entire album. The clinical precision of Crash Recoil's structure shows Surgeon's many years of experience as both a producer.

It's interesting hearing Surgeon's modern twist on his classic style. There's nothing overtly cutting-edge or "new school" about his approach here, but the sound of each instrument is so crisp and powerful that it's nearly futuristic. Otherwise, Crash Recoil is techno preserved in amber. The buzzing mechanical hum of "Metal Pig," the pad-heavy melodic denouement of "Hope Not Hate," the crushing drum programming of "Masks and Archetypes"–this is techno distilled into its rudimentary elements, and the building blocks here are as finely tuned as they come. Even though Crash Recoil may not exceed the quality of his legendary trio of albums on Tresor back in the nineties, Surgeon has nothing left to prove as an artist. It's a treat to hear someone of his caliber release exciting music so long after his career began. Without breaking new ground, Crash Recoil finds the DJ bringing intense energy to the studio and reminding audiences what makes him a titan of techno.



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user ratings (16)
3.7
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
Ryus
April 3rd 2023


37330 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

cant believe he had zero reviews for his work. an absolute legend of techno. loving this new one

Sniff
April 3rd 2023


8093 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Zero reviews and a whoopin 2 ratings for this

dedex
Staff Reviewer
April 3rd 2023


12788 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Cool one Ry! Just feel there's something missing there at the end:

"The clinical precision of Crash Recoil's structure shows Surgeon's many years of experience as both a producer"



saw the RA rec tag on this and hesitated to give it a listen. will do now!!

Ryus
April 3rd 2023


37330 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thx mate, i hear you about that line, will rectify

PumpBoffBag
Staff Reviewer
April 3rd 2023


1589 Comments


Brilliant job Ry. This dude was a big inspiration for me starting out DJing (along with Plastician and Boris Brejcha), so it’s great to see him getting some love

Ryus
April 3rd 2023


37330 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks dude. trying to get more into the habit of reviewing newer electronic releases that typically wouldnt get a review round here

Ryus
April 3rd 2023


37330 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

masks and archetypes is such a banger

Hyperion1001
Emeritus
April 3rd 2023


26301 Comments


nice review. didn’t know he had a new one out. will check asap.

PumpBoffBag
Staff Reviewer
April 3rd 2023


1589 Comments


@Ryus yeah that and Second Magnitude Stars make me want to stick my face in the rig, top tunes

Ryus
April 3rd 2023


37330 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

sweet hype lmk what u think

Hyperion1001
Emeritus
April 3rd 2023


26301 Comments


hope not hate is quite a tune. love the production in general. very spacious and wide which I always appreciate in a techno record.

Ryus
April 4th 2023


37330 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yep he is a master

Hyperion1001
Emeritus
April 4th 2023


26301 Comments


i was lucky enough to see him at flash in dc a while ago. stellar set.

Relinquished
April 4th 2023


48800 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

might be my favorite of his

Ryus
April 4th 2023


37330 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

dam, more than force+form? that was a formative album for me

tectactoe
May 1st 2023


7456 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Surprised to see a review for this, nicely done.

Great album.

parksungjoon
May 1st 2023


47235 Comments


>cant believe he had zero reviews for his work

have you been on this site before

parksungjoon
May 1st 2023


47235 Comments


>might be my favorite of his


wow ok guess i gotta hea rit

Ryus
May 1st 2023


37330 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

“have you been on this site before”



even still

Ryus
June 11th 2023


37330 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

m/



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