The stark-and-air-gust-ridden Temporary Suspension is a powerful, atmospheric outing from the prolific and revered British techno producer/DJ Luke Slater. Just as the cover art could double for material promoting a bizarre art-house horror flick, Slater’s work as Planetary Assault Systems—a pseudonym he’s been using since at least the early 90s—is merciless and jarring, with monotone bass lines and no shortage of hissing hi hats. It’s like this from the get-go, and it’s mixed live, so things move damn fast with no room for breathing. A far more aggressive and frostier statement than Ben Klock’s lovely One, also a 2009 Ostgut Ton release, the seamless Temporary Suspension doesn’t let up, despite what its title implies.
Slater christens Temporary with a quickly building “Open Up”—its whirring machine noises and detuned chime patterns give way to “Whoodoo”, a rapid-fire floor-ready stormer built on frenetic beats that might have been sampled inside of a wind tunnel. Those eager to absorb the tranquil nature of Lawrence’s latest effort or a new volume of the Kompakt Ambient series are not likely to embrace Temporary, at least not without ingesting a sedative beforehand.
Fanciful melody shifts are nowhere to be found here. Slater is driven to deploy huge blasts of exhaust and industrial electronic crunch instead. “Attack of the Mutant Camels”, particularly its opening barrage of thunderous kick drums and single grizzly note, encompasses the producer’s mission statement in three minutes. Squiggly synths scream alongside its propulsive center, while lazer shots fizzle into myriad fragments and cymbals patter in the distance. This is what the whole Temporary Suspension experience is like. It almost hurts.