Christian Piers has become a man of many different face and facets. He's been bother all spheres of dance music with his multiple aliases, including A1 Bassline, A1B, as one half of Laszlo Dancehall with Leon Vynehall and (deep breath), his own god-given name, Christian Piers. The last time we heard from him under this alias - a whole year ago now on Curle Recs and Dusky’s 17 Steps - he turned in smooth, silky and deep house and techno, intricate, detailed and quality in it’s delivery. This time, Piers isn't bringing smooth, silky numbers to the fore, but rather lead heavy slabs made from ballast basslines and crunchy, solid drum patterns.
Opening track Polar Station brings a dense soundscape to the fore, a crunching analogue groove and pummelling swing. Those feedback heavy drums and dancing, swinging melodic lines make way for cutting waves of atmospheric synth, while metronomic, rapid fire hi hats lace the background, treading the fine line between dark and punishing rhythm and light and wholehearted swing.
Next, Solitary Stare goes for a balls to the floor approach, reminding of early Boddika and Joy O releases from 2011 where a big chunk of sequenced, pulsating bassline offers the core element, dipping and diving between major and minor tones, back by a vicious, venomous groove. Hydraulic beats, dark aesthetics and twisting intensity define this surprising turn of sound for Piers.
The title track is up next, fluctuating bass timbres and drum patterns again take the track from light to dark. Starting with an analogue, icey film-esque synth line and vast, spanning basslines and hypnotic, looped drums give the track a solid, unrelenting techno edge.
Finally, Verb brings Piers' latest experiment to an accomplished close, swapping the fluidity of the 4-4 beat for the dynamic chop of a breakbeat. While muffled acid stabs are let loose in the far background, big room, trance like synths build up on the drop, leaving behind it a timeless techno feel. With elements of the likes of Scuba and George Fitzgerald in the mix, Verb sounds like Piers' very own mix of bassline culture and Berlin techno - a torch that the multi-faceted producer shows no signs of struggle when carrying.
So... what's next from this ADHD soaked producer? Whether its house, breakbeats, deep flows or crunching techno, Piers' skill is clear to see throughout all of his projects.