Shen Outlines

Shen is a Taoist term for refined energy or depth, and it’s befitting of the down-tempo alter-ego of Canadian techno maestro Noah Pred. Offering enough of a percussive discourse over the psy-flavoured ambiance to provoke a few dance moves within Outlines’ down-tempo direction, Pred masterfully renders a sense of aural spaciousness from a clean juxtaposition of solid, well-crafted rhythms. A perfect marriage of Native State’s characteristic digital gloss and Pred’s hard and lush bass lines, there is a melodic sexiness to the entire album that’s best exemplified by the smooth drive of "Cold Bones” and submerged hip-hop flavours of "Causation” and "Symbol Range.” At just the right moments Pred layers his digitised soundscapes with vibrating chords, humming subs, record stutters and analogue samples. With his feet not fully off the techno train, even while in down-tempo, Pred does occasionally get lost in the loop (i.e., "Crater Lake”). More often than not though, Outlines consistently grinds out a premium digital groove that’s on the cusp of listener-friendly originality and dance floor functionality. (Native State)