A minute or two of peace ushers in smog's sequel'70. There's a menacing intake of breath, followed by a harmonic hum. But the quiet doesn't last long. Once this album kicks off, it doesn't let go. It's ludicrously hard, with bass powerful enough to smash every window on the street.
Gabber and noise cosy up to surprising success, as sine waves and blasts of static punctuate the beats enclosing them. These grace notes allow repetition without monotony — crucial, when most of your tracks approach six minutes.
'Dazzle' and 'Abschluss SCAN' both monsters, marrying classic fuck-off breaks and handclaps with futuristic groaning and squealing. But they're also two tracks which begin to drag before they're over. They find their rut and they stick in it, pounding away relentlessly until they're spent.
Even if these tracks could be said to outstay their welcome on a home listen, though, dropped into a set they would soar. And that's clearly what they've been made for. Smog wisely bookends them with 'Straightforward' and the album's outro, too. Both bring some variety. 'Straightforward' feels like a field recording; the slaps of a boat on a dock.
This tactility is something all sequel'70's tracks share; quasi-organic surfaces sliding and scraping on each other, interacting, forming and breaking apart. It's at once rooted in the physical world, and off somewhere else completely. Sequel'70 is a hammering and invigorating experience.
Words by Andrew O’Keefe