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Serbian newcomers Phill & Dansmore make their debut on Steyoyoke Black with their first full-length album Iterspectrum. Moving between spaces of dark and light, tension and release, it takes a listener throughout multiple shifts in mood and reveals more with every listen.
After the sensitive, soundtrack-worthy opener, ‘Revival’, the EP begins with several tracks that blend the energy of traditional techno with a distinct sense of mystery and brooding. “8°C” stands out in particular, combining a video game style charm with the intensity you’d expect from any techno staple.
Over the next few tracks the album takes a turn, with “Crack of Dawn” marking a shift in the mood with a higher tempo and more subdued sounds. The end of “Path 303” however builds the energy back up to arrive at “Leaf by Leaf”, a shimmering track that widens the focus of the soundscape and puts a listener in a more contemplative place.
“Dark Mirage” marks another shift in mood, this time pulling the sounds back down to the darker and more minimal. This continues with a consistency throughout the subsequent tracks - “Dancing Dunes” being a standout in particular due to its suspended feeling - all tension, no release. This tension is built upon further with “Die Erzrückstände”, with intense, brooding synths placed over a compelling bass line.
The album shows depth of references, sticking to the path of techno while integrating themes of minimalism, film and game soundtracks, 90s pop and more. Phill & Dansmore are more than just techno producers, and have a keen eye for construction of mood and tone. It’s an impressive album that offers something new with each track.