BCRLTD001 (Rail Yard EP) represents the continued expansion of the Blank Code label through the creation of a "limited" catalog focusing on the deeper, more experimental realms of techno. The first released in the limited series is by Detroit resident Altstadt Echo, known for his frequent appearances at Blank Code's SCENE series in Detroit, his creation of the I AM NOT TO BE TRUSTED series at The Necto, and for his role as founder of DubMonitor.com
The Rail Yard EP's first track, 1948 / Concrete / Schaeffer, marks the artists foray into incorporating drones as a primary focus of the sound. With eroded percussion piercing through a thick layer of vinyl fuzz, the track aggressively rolls forward as haunting discordant tones filter in and out. With a title implying reference to early Musique concrète recordings, the listener is left with the impression of well-aged sounds rediscovered and sculpted into a modern techno format. The EP include four remixes of this track by artists Jeff Derringer, Donor, Annie Hall, and Corbin Davis.
Jeff Derringer answers with an energetic remix, incorporating chord plucks and a 5-in-the-morning distorted melody over a heavy dancefloor beat and subtle wobbling bass. Using intense build-ups and white noise blasts, the track deftly applies proven techniques to transform the eroded style of the original into a deadly effective track for late-night sets. By contrast, Donor applies his own experimentation to reconstructing the original in the form of an expertly textured broken beat excursion. Featuring prominent use of rainy field recordings and other samples from the original, the artist carefully plays with the timing of introducing new elements and eliminating others to create an understated but fascinating listening experience. Annie Hall's remix applies a steady four-on-the-floor foundation to the echoing samples from the original, intensified by metallic percussion and eerie synthetic murmurs. Enveloped by muted droning atmospheres and torn apart by broken percussive hits, the Annie Hall remix represents the darkest interpretation of the original. Corbin Davis completes the set of remixes with a disciplined work that utilizes the space left by a minimalistic beat in order to allow the atmospheric elements from the original to gently unfurl.
1967 / Steel / Andre is centered on percussive experimentation. While maintaining a 4/4 rhythm, the artist utilizes a stumbling metal-and-air beat to toe the line between danceability and purely cognitive listening. The track is balanced by atmospheric pads hovering in cathedral-like reverb, and only breaks for a brief moment to insert an anonymous quote about how artistic work is truly created. The last original track on the EP, 2004 / Smoke / Kuhlmann, is a shorter ambient piece that pairs a smoky, textured drone with a colossal reverberating kick and classic Detroit-styled minimalistic percussive hits.