Published Oct 24, 2014Returning to a more hands-on, hardware-based approach to create and construct Reverse Proceed has proven to be a smart move by Scottish techno duo Slam. Stripping down their production tools to a 909, a modular synth setup, some older machines and a new hardware sequencer hasn't limited Stuart McMillan and Orde Meikle — instead, it has acutely focused their sound. Building slowly over the first third of the continuous album, Slam are patient and focused as they coax a bold array of ambient-style tones from their streamlined setup.
It isn't until "Synchronicity" that the duo really unleash the type of techno they have built a career on. Utilizing a locally built hardware unit called the Sequentix Cirklon, the Glasgow duo explore the power of loops, sequences and repetition over the course of Reverse Proceed, infusing their tactile approach into the process as they manipulate and modulate a tweaked-out, constantly-changing arsenal of sounds. Driving to the heart of techno, "Ghosts of Detroit" evokes lost nights in a hot and sweaty warehouse and the spirit of the Motor City, while "Pattern A3" and "Factory Music" has McMillan and Meikle getting inventive with their modular synth setup in ways you just can't replicate with a point and click of a mouse.
Punctuated by dynamic ambient passages, modulated throbs, rippling synth sequences, 909 workouts and pure moments of techno bliss, Reverse Proceed boils down the essence of what the duo have been working on for the past 20 years and flips the basic concept into something that is distinct, yet familiar. (Soma)