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Ferenc - Fraximal

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Artist: Ferenc

Album: Fraximal

Label: Kompakt

Review date: Jul. 31, 2005

I’m not sure if there’s really ever been any need for intentional techno tribute albums (which should mean Luke Vibert is out of a day-job) but with Fraximal, Ferenc essay an album that’s in thrall to its past: check track titles like “Urdangarin Resistance” and “Acidorro.” This is different from the Ferenc who almost signposted the future with 2003’s “Yes Sir I Can Hardcore,” slipping into electro-house mode before the cavalry rode over the hill. That track, along with its wild, sputtering Michael Mayer remake, is Ferenc’s finest moment: other singles for Kompakt and Pornflake have varied the template, but lacked the heat-gun thrill.

Fraximal won’t change that. Its running themes – the gloop and sputter of acid, coupled with an abstract tribute to the Detroit techno and its tributaries – are so overplayed as to militate against flashes of wild inspiration. (This is not to say that techno should never feed on its past, but that something so intentionally retroactive risks being bogged down in its own historicizing discourse.) But there is still plenty to surprise throughout Fraximal: the rushing vectors of cold air that coast Jennifer Cardini’s blasé vocals on “Vinagreta”; the vivid, strafing patterns of “Urdangarin Resistance”; and the gleaming glass-bells that orbit through opener “Diplodocus.” “Acidorro” closes the album on a humid note, steamy texturology venting through the track’s murky mainframe – though aware of its history, the track sounds more like an outtake from Surfing on Sine Waves.

By Jon Dale

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