Published Oct 21, 2015Berlin-based techno maven Dead Fader — aka John Cohen — has returned with his fourth album in just over as many years. The synthetic sounds herein were influenced by two disparate elements: the visceral act of falling in love and the cinematic wormhole that is Christopher Nolan's Interstellar.
At times laden with unorthodox noises ("Boom Town" and "Too Busy," which bookend the album), at others rife with an unhinged beauty (the lusty "Nine Strokes" and hypnotic "Penchant"), Glass Underworld is an exercise in juxtaposition. Far from ever achieving a straight-ahead techno sound, Cohen exists in a world of exploration and futuristic visions. "Mud Underworld" is a loping beast of a track, both otherworldly and anchored in human emotion. A simple synth melody drives "Thunderstorm," which eventually dissolves into a driving rhythm and a series of lonely sonar pings.
With Glass Underworld, Cohen has crafted an adventurous world of sound, one that exists someplace outside of our own — both in time and space. It's the subtle emotional signs scattered throughout that forge a link between the listener and the artist himself, preventing the entire experience from being obtuse. (Robot Elephant)