Release Date: Aug 26, 2014
Record label: Werkdiscs
Genre(s): Electronic, House, Techno, Club/Dance, Experimental Techno
Named after the term for the result of patterns superimposed on one another, London-based house/techno producer Moiré made an impressive 12" debut in early 2013. It wasn't particularly unique, but its raw yet finessed synthesis of inspirations came off like the work of a veteran producer with tight quality control. Other appealing aspects were that it was released on Werkdiscs, the label operated by admired maverick producer Actress, and that Actress himself contributed a hypnotizing remix.
Like Flying Lotus and his Brainfeeder imprint or Oneohtrix Point Never with Software, Actress' Werkdiscs label owes much of its aesthetic to its owner's permeating influence. Plenty of producers try to imitate the desaturated avant-techno of Hazyville or Splazsh's dadaist dancefloor, but you can hear Actress in Werkdiscs mostly because the essence of Darren Cunningham's sound is pure lightning in a bottle—it's a creative path designed to take you to the places he uncovers. One kindred spirit to land on Werkdiscs is Moiré, an essentially anonymous Londoner.
The prevalence of grime, UK garage and dubstep is one of the few music trends that the 2010s can call almost entirely their own. Sure, all of them have roots in the early electronic music experimentations of the ’90s and to some extent the ’00s, but it’s the current decade where these underground trends have coalesced in the immensely successful Untrue by Burial, the modern plunderphonics of Far Side Virtual by James Ferraro, and the minimalist hip-hop/techno breakouts of Actress’ catalogue. So it should come to little surprise that London musician Moiré would release his debut full-length on both Ninja Tune and Darren Cunningham’s Werkdiscs: the former an established label in all things dance and electronic; the latter, a relative newcomer with a signature sheen.
Since his debut last year, Moiré has lived in the shadow of Actress, the producer who signed him to Werkdiscs. They share a bleary-eyed outlook on electronic music, preferring the same fuzzy filters and greyscale palette, but where Actress unspools these elements into avant-garde soundscapes, Moiré bundles them into dance tracks. After two strong EPs of fogged-up techno and house, Moiré returns with the more confident Shelter.
Moiré’s Shelter opens with a rising clatter. The moment when the bassline and loping kick join the thrum is a neat microcosm for both the album and the producer’s name: a first pattern onto which a second seems superimposed, creating a whole in a constant state of flux. Claps and stabs on ‘Attitude’ lag, while a skeletal, gloomy bassline anchors everything deep without adding much by way of a groove.