Obsidian - Benjamin Damage
‘Obsidian’ marks the third album from Benjamin Damage (his second solo long-player) and the end of an era for both himself and 50WEAPONS. As the first artist (outside of Modeselektor) to release on the label it’s apt that this album is also the last one on 50WEAPONS.
Benjamin himself states, “Obsidian is a collection of fragmented memories from all the music I’ve ever liked, distorted and restructured into a full length techno record. A purely personal project and an end of an era with 50WEAPONS.”
As Benjamin Damage delivers his third album this autumn, it is easy to forget that he has only been releasing records since 2010. Just two years after his first track was released, he dropped his first album ‘They!Live’, alongside production partner Doc Daneeka, to critical acclaim. The following year witnessed his first solo album release with ‘Heliosphere’, marking a pronounced sonic sci-fi development towards Plaid and Jeff Mills and hailed by critics as a return of soul and warmth to the cold industrial world of Berlin techno.
Mining a deeper furrow than 2013’s ‘Heliosphere’, ‘Obsidian’ for the main part eschews panel-beating rhythms. Unraveling in a dream-like realm where melody has space between the kicks and snares, the album affects a more emotional dancefloor pull. That’s not to say that the album lacks punch, as tracks like ‘Cosmonaut’, ‘Parallax View’ and ‘Transmission’ deliver that adrenalin rush with aplomb. But it is on tracks such as the beautiful ‘Pulse Width’, sublime ‘Shimmer’, acid-tinged ‘Tetrapod’ and ethereal ‘Poly’ that we find Damage stretching further into the unknown and touching on the genius of AFX, Skam and Autechre. ‘Obsidian’ delivers warmth, heart, soul and sweat throughout and as such couldn’t be a better parting shot for the label.
5. Pulse Width
7. Vostok 6
8. Parallax View
11. HRM TX