The Bay Area has never been known as a hotspot for house or techno, and yet, things are beginning to move around there. One of the characters, who has made a name for himself in that surrounding, is Charles Duff, a.k.a. Matrixxman, who has been releasing one EP after another since 2013. Duff is some kind of a dystopian anachronist: On the one hand, he is referring to the old schools that emanated from Chicago, Detroit and Berlin, while on the other hand thinking them onwards – without much hope for the things to come. His debut »Homesick« is another proof of his powerfully eloquent ideas on neuro-sciences, artificial intelligence and such, basing his lyrics on the assumption that an actual human brain is to be completely duplicated through technology within the next three decades. And while this is an interesting thought that fits well into the ideological tradition of techno, it’s hard to make out what it has to do with the music on »Homesick«. There are twelve – excellently produced – tracks between acid-hammers and gloom-techno, carrying a futuristic and somewhat synthetic language as used by Jeff Mills to describe possible (or impossible) futures. But they never get explicit. Hence, the beats are booming and banging and crackling and rummaging and gliding through spaces that are sometimes deep and sometimes narrow, but they don’t carry any actual meaning. That’s why there’s all the talking, that’s why there are titles like »Necronomicon«, »Network Failure« or »False Pattern Recognition«: Duff’s music is dependent on a clear context, in order to come along as conceptually wholesome and concise. On the side, he – almost accidentally – sums up the aporia that techno has begun to face: The future has already come upon us, including all its bad sides, and has now reached an almost frantic standstill. It’s not without reason that »Homesick« is carrying a longing in its title. It’s a longing for a future as it was dreamt in the past. And due to its hopelessness, this (already outstanding) record is even stronger.