The Fall Guy

mobilee040 - Russ Gabriel - The Fall Guy
mobilee040 - Russ Gabriel - The Fall Guy
Russ Gabriel
18 Aug 2008

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€6.00 Vinyl 12"

In three short years, Mobilee hasn’t only built out one hell of a roster; it has nurtured its expanding lineup into something resembling a family. It’s easy to feel proud after putting together a crew like this.

But this time it’s our turn to be humble, as we welcome a true techno veteran to the fold: Russ Gabriel.

Russ almost certainly needs no introduction: since 1993, he and his Ferox label have helped define the sound of UK techno, merging elements from Detroit and Chicago into a sound that stands confidently on its own. Russ had been quiet for a few years, until last year he announced the return of Ferox. Now he comes to Mobilee with a record that confirms his reputation as one of electronic music’s true, enduring greats. Recognizing that power isn’t all about brute force, both cuts hypnotize and seduce with elegant constructions and slowly shifting modulations. Simplicity and finesse rule the day.

“React” opens with softly pumping chords and handclaps cloaked in faraway reverb, setting a muted, dusky mood. It builds almost imperceptibly, with minor-key detailing creeping in from the corners like spiders climbing wispy webs. Nimble sub-bass struts across the low end, more felt than heard. And that, structurally speaking, is all there is: this is a lesson in less-is-more. What makes it special is the way that Russ lovingly teases all the elements out of hiding, filtering and EQing as though catching light in an abalone shell. The track’s delicacy is offset only by a slow crescendo of 909 drums from deep in the mix. But forget about form - it’s the feeling that matters here. Raw and emotive, this is how techno was always supposed to sound.

“The Fall Guy” plays with the same ideas - cottony chords, gentle syncopations, gauzy filters reminding you that sensuality is as much about concealing as revealing. This time, though, Russ stretches out and really takes his time, drawing the tune out to 13 minutes long - 13 minutes that pass in an eyelid’s flicker.

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