Making his return to the Infinite Machine catalog is Nostro Hood System boss Galtier with his 3 track EP ‘Dancing On Ruins’; a relentless slug of driving percussion and discordant atmospheres. Taking quite a step from his 2018 ‘Terran’ EP released on IM, Galtier abandons the hopeful, up-lifting, sometimes euphoric mood that has characterized much of his sound for the last few years and flexes his ability to handle anxious, hard-hitting techno-influenced material – a healthy departure from the purposeful, existential theme evident in earlier works.
‘Dancing On Ruins’ is characterised by its dusty, weather-beaten sound palette, as if such music was created and played in a desolate, lifeless world to provide solitude for the stoic beings that reside there. It is fast and aggressive, utilising techno-esque sonics as its base, yet it avoids being scary or oppressive or too stereotypical in nature.
‘Scuffed Souls’ leads into the chaos with the pounding force of its 909 kick that thumps over the ever-evolving, fundamentally gothic sequence of melody. It is menacing and daunting to say the least, and gets straight to the point. Rhythmically it is reminiscent of classic rave-inclined techno but draws for quick transitions evident in contemporary club music. Crisp, pointed hi hats play gracefully amongst the angry soundscape and are quickly scared off by the growling Moog bassline that rumbles in to occupy the decrescendo.
The rhythm is broken and far more syncopated on ‘Precious Quartz (To Reave), which likewise increases in BPM from 140 to 148. Being the most stripped back, percussively oriented track on the whole release, Galtier flexes his capacity to execute myriad shifts in rhythm and pace as the majority of the track chugs along, the vessel made up of a its short but monstrous kick, sharp hi hat slashes, restrained 909 rides and a mutated bell call – warning others of its approach.
Finally the namesake of the EP, ‘Dancing On Ruins’, takes place, leaving the zenith of the release’s unnerving energy for last. Galtier combines elements of UK Techno rhythm with loose UK Funky instrumentation and meshes the two and speeds things up significantly. Though the rhythm returns to a more pulsing, simply structured state, the hollow lead is pulverizing and raw throughout the whole track. This, accompanied by the blistering 150 BPM tempo, makes it a vicious, restless beast.