B12: Slope

B12, 2007

Slope cover

British duo Mike Golding and Steve Rutter formed B12 Records in 1990 and created some of the very first Detroit-inspired IDM. Over the next few years, they worked closely with Kirk Degiorgio’s ART label and released two albums and an EP on Warp Records. Then in 1996, they suddenly disappeared from the music scene. Now ten years later, they’re making a return, repressing old EPs, releasing new ones, and working on a 12-CD box set retrospective.

This EP features all-new music. The title track is well-structured techno, with dramatic, edgy synths progressing over crisp beats. “Magnetic Fields” is more IDM-y. Atmospheric buzzing electronics and broken beats pause for a couple of strange breaks. “Static Glitch” is part acid, part electro, with slightly distorted analogue sounds bouncing between channels. While these compositions strike me as a bit tentative, they’re a hopeful sign that B12 are forging ahead.

3/5 stars