Bulkhead is Pop District and Patrik Benjamin. Both solo artists in their own right, the duo combated 2015’s particularly brutal Canadian winter by locking themselves away in the studio to experiment with a medley of hardware. Exploring the polarity of extreme cold and immersive warmth with a distinctly analogue feel, the duo carved themselves an aesthetic. Using a raw, organic palette they repudiate formal structure and polish, opting instead for a freeform blend of unhindered mechanical techno and fuzzy ambience – slambient, if you will.
Debuting in 2016, their Worker’s Kampf cassette album on LA imprint Far Away Tapes sold out quickly, warranting another release on 2MR featuring highlights of the cassette on 12′ and digital. Continuing with the purveyance of abstract arrangements and machine wizardry, their forthcoming album – Aft Pressure – is a striking exploration of the intersection between frenzied techno and harmonic warmth.
Fragments of techno and EBM mutate without strict guidance, rebuilding themselves into new forms with stunning physical qualities. While many of the tracks might file under dance music, the DIY spirit of the album transcends a nightclub, occupying a peculiar space between the uncensored grit of the post-punk scene and some melancholic form of ambient minimalism. Angular percussion slices its way through dizzying synth leads whilst serene harmonies wander on their own accord. Darting melodies are made all the more powerful by their harsh timbre as drum-less excursions provide a cinematic backdrop.
Aft Pressure is a statement of intent, blurring the parameters of dance music culture with equal doses of insanity and serenity. At the same time, it’s also a hell of a lot of fun…