Positive Centre - Nonharmonic Beautifault [LEYLA004]
Positive Centre - Vorticist EP [SNTS008]
Relapso - Northern Structures (Positive Centre Remix)
Music: Positive Centre - Signal Structure // Taken from Monad XIX [SAM019] on Stroboscopic Artefacts
Video: Maria Mendes
The Monad releases by Stroboscopic Artefacts are one of the most successful serial adventures in modern techno, utilizing an ethic of mysterious unfoldings to elicit new expressions from both veteran and relatively new producers. The latest installment in this growing archive issues from the mind of Mike Jefford's Positive Centre. His is a project whose name is steeped in the same type of intriguing ambiguity as the Monad series: a 'positive centre' could refer to the dense nucleus of an atom or to some hermetic and purposeful organization, though all interpretations point to some thing or phenomena defined by intensity and essentialism.
The same can easily be said about the musical contents of this new EP release. On "Great Excavator," Positive Centre lays out its intentions quickly and unequivocally, with a continually layering and hypnotically captivating arabesque of percussive sounds and accents. With only traces of a melody line or bassline, the opener engages the listener with its tactile aggressiveness, and encourages involuntary muscular twitches as if the stimuli were delivered through carefully placed electrodes. Unlike such an experimental procedure, though, this track's stealthy variance in syncopation offers a unique narrative quality rarely achieved by other tracks of its kind.
This is just an initiation for an exploration that allows the listener to sink into deeper, more inaccessible levels of consciousness. The follow-up "Disappearing Trick" lowers the temperature and corresponding tension, but not so much as to totally nullify the kinetic energy and aforementioned feeling of direct stimulus unleashed by its predecessor. It motors rhythmically through a thick nocturnal fog, infused with an attitude of strict discipline and calmness, and eventually terminates in a gorgeous cascade of bass notes leaving endless trails of 'space cathedral' reverberation behind them.
The third stage of the journey, "Figure is the Form", strips away more layers sonic complexity while drawing the listener in towards a mystery that becomes more elusive even as it seems to offer more hints as to its true nature. Combining a languid dub tempo with a ritualistic sensibililty, our host takes us further away from the dancefloor and into Stygian waters, but always with a sense of curiosity rather than one of impending doom. The end of the journey is marked by "Signal Structure," a captivating wash of synths that offers a slowly unspooling sense of melancholy along with its preternatual glow.
All told, Monad XIX is a release rich with 'emergences' from an artist who is himself emerging onto the electronic music scene, and who holds out the promise of revelatory journeys into the depths (both sonic and psychic) for all those who want to come along.
Berlin-based producer Mike Jefford, aka Positive Centre, is gearing up to release his debut full-length, In Silent Series, out on James Sigha's Our Circula Sound label next week, and we've got a first play.
Talking to the excellent Stray Landings blog about the origins of the project, Jefford explain: "For me it's about capturing the intangible, remembered feelings, old thoughts and things you've half forgotten. I've never been particularly good at describing this in words, so I find sound is the best way to get these things across." From the sounds of In Silent Series, these half-remembered feelings are of a darker hue, playing out in the acres of space in which 'Handed By Symmetry' hangs, occasional spasms of metallic clanking reverberating and nodding to the influence of King Tubby and Scientist on Jefford's sound, followed by the distant shudder of powering kick drums on the record's centrepiece, 'Back To Steaming' - listen via our SoundCloud above.
Covered in Sand - Russion Gold & Blood Diamonds [MIRA003x]
Truss - Clytha (Tommy Four Seven Remix) [OCS004]
Headless Horseman - Execution [HDL004]
Regis - Blood Witness (Extended Version) [LINO100]
British Murder Boys - Be Like I Am [BMB5]
SNTS - Untitled [HG16]
Shifted - Chapter 69 [OCS005]
EQD - Untitled [EQD005]
Shifted - The Cold Light (Sektor C) [AVN009]
Sigha - Hard Lines Soft Skin [OCS009]
British Murder Boys - Don’t Give Way To Fear [CBX010]
400PPM - Piquette Plant [AVN011]
Arcing Seas - Incal [OCS012]
Shifted - The Cold Light (Sektor A) [AVN008]
Sigha - Loop Five [AVN014]
"Positive Centre returns to Sigha’s Our Circula Sound for his second EP of dense, paranoid, techno-orientated soundscapes. Primed to test the most resilient sound systems, title track ‘Hiding Knives’ moulds a sluggish stomp over thick atmosphere before moving onto the mind-altering drones of ‘Field Of Tongues’. On the other side, things move from the weighty gurgle of ‘The Proprioceptor’ to the bleak, industrial hammers of ‘Swell Of Graviton’. - Bleep
"Positive Centre continues to plough a single-minded style of slow techno doom on his sophomore EP for Sigha's Our Circula Sound label. As with like-minded spirits Samuel Kerridge, Andy Stott, Low Jack and Fishermen, the Berlin-based producer is eking out bleak new worlds at the nether end of the tempo scale, exchanging uptempo pace for a richer source of dark, synth heavy energy. His sound is concentrated yet spacious, driving in with the grinding rhythm and spectral mystery of 'Hiding Knives' beside the evil, leering drones and head-high swagger of 'Field Of Tongues' on the A-side, and really nailing it with the cavernous dynamics and molasses wade of 'The Proprioceptor' and the full sunk shuffler, 'Swell Of Gravitron'." - Boomkat
"Exceptional slow techno deviations from Positive Centre for Sigha's Our Circula Sound label. Maintaining the pressure below 110bpm, 'An Assembly' is a throttling set of six tracks compatible with a certain strain of techno that's emerged recently from producers such as Fishermen, CUB and Samuel Kerridge. Wide basses and precise, roiling percussions are rent with evil, sepulchral spatial dynamics: proper dungeon music for shadow lurkers and stony faced 7am techno goths. The molasses bass wade and shivering hi-hats of 'An Assembly' set the scene for dive-bombing drone synths and swaggering bass swing on the mighty 'Otherwise Black', and 'Thought & Intention' follows through with zombied, tribalistic momentum. The subbass swell of 'The Stations Of Section' is just immense, body swallowing warehouse music, and abyss-staring closer, 'Plumes Of Chasm' leaves us groaning for more." - Boomkat
Pierre Henry // Remontée [INA-GRM]
Prince of Denmark // Sublimation [Forum]
Demdike Stare // Suspicious Drone [DDS]
Positive Centre // Untitled
Geoff Barrow & Ben Salisbury // Dome Horizon [Invada]
Positive Centre // Thought & Intention [OCS]
Huerco S. // Plucked from the Ground, Towards the Sun [Software]
Positive Centre // Swell of Graviton [OCS]
Post // Midnight [Skam]
Cassegrain // Taiga [Prologue]
Positive Centre // Field of Tongues [OCS]
Arcing Seas // Amniotic [OCS]
Positive Centre // The Stations of Section [OCS]
Marsen Jules // Through Blood and Fire [Oktaf]
Worn // No Expression [Mira]
SHXCXCHCXSH // WHTLGHT [Avian]
Positive Centre // Hiding Knives [OCS]
Container // Acclimator [Spectrum Spools]
Positive Centre // Where Flows the How Flows [OCS]
Sigha // Grace [OCS]