In the face of stiff competition from the likes of Delta Funktionen, Silent Servant, Peter Van Hoesen, Barker & Baumecker, Juju & Jordash and Mike Dehnert, third album The Killer from Shed is a surprisingly strong contender in the race for best Techno album this year.
It's always a good sign when an album is a slow grower, and this long-player from Shed (aka Rene Pawlowitz) is no exception.
Reflecting the monochromatic album art, the music is squarely black-and-white. It's bleak and industrial throughout yet there's a distinct optimism, which is what appeals to me. So although there's plenty of dark ambience and grinding beats there's just enough melody to hook you in but never enough for comfortable listening.
The layers of noise and texture combined with the bass-heavy beats, most noticeably on standout tracks I Come By Night and Ride On, really transport you to some industrial scene from a film. But these heavier tracks are always offset with subtler moments, like Gas Up and The Praetorian (LP Mix) where the darker tones are lightened with splashes of colour. It's this attention to sequencing that brings balance to the album as a whole.
The final two tracks end on a positive note, with the hardcore undertones of VIOMF! The Filler and the uplifting piano chords on Follow The Leader.
Top album, buy it.