Various - PGH Electro Vol. 1

Various - PGH Electro Vol. 1

Posted by Aurora Mitchell on Mar 23rd 2018

Several Midwest-based producers have received some well-deserved attention lately. Thanks to killer records from Dwayne Jensen and Chase Smith, the Pittsburgh label Is / Was has been central to this development. Instead of the bounding charm of its first two releases, the PGH Electro Vol. 1 compilation shows a darker side of the Midwest scene, but it feels like a natural continuation from Smith's bouncy electro and acid jams. Hits Only's "Trion-4" grabs you with gracefully pirouetting hi-hats, pixelating synth arpeggios and sharp percussion. Feeling like two tracks in one, its first half has a UK techno vibe that slithers into gargling 303s and dizzying synth sequences.

Where the A-side holds tough rhythms with a polished sheen, Shawn Rudiman handles the B-side with the raw sound of modular workouts recorded in his overwhelmingly packed studio. The menacing acid-tinged electro of "Asimolar" thumps straight through your body. Rudiman's words in a recent documentary seem to apply here: "It's like when you're waiting for a wave out in the ocean. You feel it picking up and you think, this is it—I'm riding this to the beach."

Original RA. 

Available here.