Toxic Work Environment

Gang Of Ducks • 2015

For Daniel Martin McCormicks aka Ital doing nothing but »just looping a nice little groove« has never been enough. Of course, his tracks were played in clubs, too, but it seems that they had always been designed for more. Hence, »Toxic Work Environment«, the latest 12“ released by the New Yorker musician on Gang Of Ducks is even more surprising, considering that it’s got five tracks of minimal techno tending towards dystopian waters. In terms of complexity, this means turning away from the kind of overcharged sample-sound-dubtechno, which he had produced for Planet Mu on records like »Dream On« and »Endgame« The a-side, in particular, with »Syndrome« and the title track »Toxic Work Environment« is so very conventional in its usage of hi hats, bass drums, snares and such, that the listener can’t help but rub his ears in wonder. This can’t be changed by the fact that there’s a melody running wild here and there, a synth-generated bass-line is stepping out of line or that a whole track tilts towards noise for a moment. When taking the perspective of his previous releases, this record lacks radicalism. And still, »Toxic Work Environment« works just fine for me. And that’s not only because the b-side moves away from the a-side’s presumed simplicity, or because it picks up a bit more dub on the way. It’s not due to going completely without beats on »The Citadel« or because it finds yet another different rhythmic approach on »The Citadel – G.O.D. Rework«. Instead, it’s because Ital has found his very own language of sound and still manages to suspensefully cover a broad range on his 12”, allowing old and new listeners to find an immediate approach to the world of this uncompromising artist.