Pan/Tone Newfound Urban Calm + Remix Album

Pan/Tone (aka Sheldon LeRock) makes reckless, riff-heavy beats that sound like he’s been drinking whiskey through a straw. He’s one of several Toronto producers who decided that in order to jumpstart a stalling career, he’d best move elsewhere. He chose Cologne, and his output has been all the better for it. With a slew of releases on labels like Sub-Static, Onitor, Background and Neuton, he’s been quietly cultivating an increasingly distinct brand of sexy, unflinching techno. Newfound Urban Calm, his debut for Marseille’s Bip-Hop label, is easily his best work to date. With two discs clocking in at 136 minutes, you’d be pressed to think that he’d cleared his hard-drive for this. Thankfully, that’s not the case. The album begins with the nervous mid-tempo glitch of "San Adore,” and then veers into "Get Off My Charlie Pride Ride,” which takes a simple synth bar and uses it to build a seething, infectious banger. "Zut Alore, Je Vous Adore” has one of the most rollicking bass lines this side of a Kompakt wet dream. The rest of the album isn’t far behind, blending Perlon-streaked micro-house with gnarz-techno. The second disc features remix work by Losoul, Mia and fellow Torontonians Adam Marshall and Jeff Milligan. It’s not as impressive as the album itself, but still worthwhile. Pan/Tone was never at the forefront of Canadian techno while he was living here, but with Newfound Urban Calm he’s certainly upstaged a good number of this country’s wealth of talent. (Bip-hop)