The Slight, But Dramatic Difference - Staffan Linzatti

Author amarkey
Tue 18 Feb 14
/ 5

The Slight, But Dramatic Difference  -  Staffan Linzatti

Label – Chronicle

Lenny Posso’s New York-based techno label Chronicle often describes itself as “soundscapes from a far but reachable future,” and that is exactly the mark they’ve hit with The Slight, But Dramatic Difference. Staffan Linzatti’s second release for Chronicle (after 2012’s The Confirmer) is simultaneously a throwback to the 90s sci-fi techno aesthetic and a journey into exploratory, experimental synth work. At six tracks, The Slight, But Dramatic Difference is somewhere between an EP and an album, but it exudes an ambition that one normally associates with the LP format.


The nervous tension that pervades this work is immediately palpable in the opener, “Destination_(Bright)”. The track is built on a shifting foundation of bleeping synth arpeggios, overlaid with entrancing 16th note hi hats and very subtle, deep percussion that never quite rises to the level of a kick drum. The paranoid energy builds into the A2 track, “The Slight, But Dramatic Difference.” The title track relies on similar arpeggios and bleeps, but adds a 4-on-the-floor rhythm to create an urgent, driving peak-time techno bomb. Linzatti then drops the listener directly into the requisite ambient track, “A Burst of Directions”, a change that would be jarring if it didn’t feel so necessary after the intensity of the title track. The A3 track is a nice finish for the first side of the record, preserving the creepy vibes but giving the listener’s ears a bit of a rest.


After the break, it’s right back into the fray with B-side opener “Behind the Scene of Light”. This is pure warehouse energy- chugging, percussive synths bang out 16ths on top of a pounding combo of kick and cymbals on every quarter note. Pitch-bending bells and a dissonant pad complete the atmosphere and lend a bit of space to an otherwise rigid track. The energy level dips a few notches in “System Down”, in which Linzatti layers descending bleeps over a droning, detuned bell sound and subtle flares of white noise and crackle. The release closes with “A Rush of Reality”, a cinematic ambient work based on swelling strings that is every bit as creepy as the other tracks, but it is a bit of an odd fit with the rest of the tracks on The Slight, But Dramatic Difference.


To say that one “enjoys” listening to The Slight, But Dramatic Difference might be the wrong word. The whole release feels claustrophobic and paranoid, and can at times be a distinctly uncomfortable experience. Nevertheless, the fact that it can bring out these emotions is a testament to the vision of its creator. It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but the synth work is deftly done, and fans of hard, analog techno will find this release fits nicely in their crates.

Review for CGNY by Alex Markey

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