Planetary Assault Systems – Temporary Suspension (album review)

Temporary SuspensionIf loving absolutely banging minimal techno is wrong, then I don’t want to be right. Since my introduction to electronic music way back in the day, I’ve always had a weak spot for the hard and heavy thumping stuff that’s like gasoline fueling the dancefloor fire, and once in awhile I still hear something that really cracks through the upper crust and gets me right in that spot (if you’ve ever been raving away at 3 in the morning, you know what I’m talking about).

Ritchie Hawtin and Surgeon certainly brought it back in the day, and for awhile Basic Channel provided enough kick drums in a row to put some serious wear on the shoes, but my fave in this department for 2009 might very well be Temporary Suspension. Planetary Assault Systems is actually one Luke Slater, and he’s been releasing cuts under that alter ego for some time now that didn’t quite fit into his more electo-infused work under his own name. Some of his 12″ releases on the Peacefrog label from a decade (and longer) ago are absolute classic burners (many of which are available on the Archives Two compilation), and this new album picks up where he last left off 7 years ago, with 10 tracks mixed into an hour of massive music.

With a deep pulse fading up out of the background, “Open Up” gives the impression that the party already started a long time ago. With swarming drones and almost disorienting layers of twitchy harmonic chimes, it just keeps piling on layer after layer before slowly peeling back again towards the end.

“Open Up” – Planetary Assault Systems

From there, it locks into a multi-song suite of like-minded dark techno before changing things up about halfway through as a couple curveballs fly. “Hold It” throws off the reigns a bit with a touch of house influence, while the album-titled “Temporary Suspension” is like a dance cut that never quite lets loose and “Gateway To Minia” goes into full-on swirling ambience (with crackling bits of digital static just to shake things up). “Attack Of The Mutant Camels” might be the most rough-and-ready 3 minutes on the album, though, as pummeling beats and a growling bass line throw things out of step while attacking relentlessly.

“Attack Of The Mutant Camels” – Planetary Assault Systems

The whole release has a bit of a throwback vibe that might not appeal quite as much to fans of more austere sounds, but for those needing a bit of pure hard techno fuel for a hot summer night, there probably won’t be much better released this year.

(buy Temporary Suspension from

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