First Listen: Matrixxman – ‘Password’ (The Grid)

With production and set-curation alike characterised by bullish, dictatorial intensity, and spacey, hypnotic melodies, San Francisco native Charles Duff a.k.a. Matrixxman has garnered a reputation parallel to Ben Klock, Rødhad and other Berghain regulars. Having released on industry-leading labels such as Dekmantel and Fifth Wall Records, Duff has taken the independent route with the launch of his new label The Grid. It’s first release, the homonymously titled The Grid 001, captures the cosmic, extra-terrestrial aesthetic synonymous with the boundary-pushing American, all the way from the production to the sleeve-art. Depicting a space-station floating in the exosphere, Duff continues this sci-fi theme in the release’s multifaceted sonic offerings.

Jumping between typically brutish, mesmerising techno, and ethereal, otherworldly ambient, The Grid 001 demonstrates Duff’s versatility. Whilst ‘Compromised’ and ‘Emergent Intelligence’ are emblematic of the futuristic, bleepy blueprint of Duff’s techno output, ‘Data Link’ and ‘Invitations’ float and drift through outerspace, characterised by delicate and refraining synthwork, alongside a bewildering use of echo and reverb. ‘Quantum Bandwidth’, the release’s final track, is balanced by looping chimes and neat hi-hats, with crash cymbals resonating through the dreamy melody, providing a suitably extraterrestrial ending to The Grid’s maiden output.

‘Password’ is our highlight of Duff’s inaugural release, combining a deep and groovy bassline with a frantic energy presented by spiralling, repetitive bleeps, and sharp, cutting hi-hats. Temporary, discontinuous crash cymbals pierce the soundscape, adding intensity to the already rip-roaring track. The track suitably soundtracks a tumbling, reckless journey through the Matrixxman galaxy.

Matrixxman continues to churn out scene-leading techno with this double 12″, making his new venture one to watch from infinity and beyond. You can pick up the release from Phonica here.

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