It’s that rare artist that continues to explore outside of his comfort zone. We should all aspire to live the musical journeys of Jeff Mills and someone like Alexander Robotnick. Mills’ intense artist output will itself someday make up the wing of a museum, and the most interesting, eclectic part of his career began after age 40. Robotnick on the other hand has never stood still. Born restless, you could chart his career trajectory with a squiggly line that flies completely off the page.
I wrote quite a lot about Robotnick’s techno project, The Analog Session (with Ludus Pinsky), but it was still surprising to me to hear a record as unrelentingly furious as KolSlaw, the latest EP from Hybrid Protokol released on Robotnick’s Hot Elephant Music label. Created by two producers (Soumajit Ghosh and Aneesh Basu) from Kolkata, India, KolSlaw doesn’t so much play as chew through a soundsystem. Grooves attack with sawtooth edges, percussion hits with the bite of fried transistors. “Bespoke” and “Torque” sound like two fragments of a larger jam session, cut out and replanted for DJ disco use. “Northern Lights” has more of a low-slung swagger; for my own listening pleasure I actually like it more than the other two though it doesn’t quite fit in.
Hybrid Protokol: KolSlaw EP / Hot Elephant Music
1. Hybrid Protokol: Bespoke
2. Hybrid Protokol: Torque
3. Hybrid Protokol: Northern Lights