Writer Harry Croxford / Photographer The Lazer Show
Off the back of his recent EP release (entitled Sleep) Comast – real name Charlie Thomas – shares another track indicating a sonic migration towards darker, trance-inspired techno.
Where other genres – jungle, bassline, garage – tend to dominate Birmingham’s warehouses and club venues, for some techno is perceived as sorely overlooked. ‘Separate’, is thus a welcome addition.
The rhythmic simplicity draws me in with just how punchy that kick drum is, wrapped in extended synth-lines and vocal samples that recalls the trance music that inspires it – ‘Separate’ knits a shadowed, moody, atmosphere.
Building in perpetual crescendo, the track becomes awash with acid squelches and staccato melodic phrases.
And this dark tension never wholly disintegrates even during the track’s breaks, only receding briefly. Even as the quasi-trap breakdowns with its darting hi-hats allow some breathing room, there is still that stabbing synth-line that reverberates alongside the gravelly bassline.
This is the sound for Digbeth’s famous warehouses, soaked in smoke and red strobe, where hesitations and differences melt into ecstatic collective abandon.
As each of the track’s elements fade, space emerges where the sharpness of the close leaves floating this reverb-soaked melody. It lingers, and as a listener you can’t help but think of the possibilities for where the track may sit in a future mix. It’s a promising sign.
If ‘Separate’ is an indication of things to come from Comast, and the sound he hopes that Birmingham will explore further, then I anticipate some excellent parties.
In fact, if you want to throw yourself into some events where you can sweat away the twilight hours, Comast has recently set up the events promoter Distort Events which seeks to encourage ‘Hard-hitting techno in the second-city’. Their inaugural event is forthcoming on 18 August at Mama Roux’s.
You can also check out ‘Separate’ on Spotify here: www.open.spotify.com/track