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La nomea che precede Samuel Kerridge è a dir poco meritata e A Fallen Empire ne è la dimostrazione. “Lock up your daughters”, ha sentenziato qualcuno riferendosi al suo ritorno con questo primo album, ma la frase si addice più agli eccessi di qualche band heavy più che alla “abstract techno” mentale del nostro.

Il passato da raver (per non dire infanzia: Samuel è figlio di ex traveller da second summer of love) è stato determinante per il percorso artistico del mancuniano, in quanto egli ha sempre manifestato, in modo preponderante, l’intenzione di insistere sul contatto diretto con il dancefloor: la sua vera palestra è stata la febbrile attività live, durante la quale ha diffuso il proprio concetto di musica / anti-musica, cercando sempre di stravolgere e scardinare certi insulsi paletti presenti nel mondo dell’elettronica. Non è un caso che, dal 2012, il Nostro sia resident di un evento come il Contort @ Mindpirates di Berlino. Lo slogan è emblematico – NOT just another techno/house party.  L’obbiettivo: rivedere cosa sia ballabile o meno, demolire i preconcetti tra ciò che separa l’elettronica da ascolto da quella da dancefloor, uno statement che ritroviamo alla base del folgorante debut A Fallen Empire.

Il pupillo di casa Downwards, in passato impostosi con gli EP From The Shadows That Melt The Flesh e Waiting For Love sulla label di Karl O’connor e Peter Sutton, ricambia così le molte aspettative riposte dal giro techno industrial con un lavoro ostico e coraggioso che in molti frangenti cerca di svecchiare le coordinate di genere, provando -invano- ad allontanarsi il più possibile dalle formule tanto care a Regis &co. Le atmosfere da pellicola di Murnau permeano a fondo la tracklist e si rendono da subito visibili in Chant, apertura intrisa di rabbia repressa e frustrazione. Il basso entra violento e continua a martellare per tutto il resto della traccia (fortuna che Samuel ha dichiarato di non essere un “dark sadistic fucker”). Il concetto qui espresso viene ripreso in Death Upon Us, questa volta puntando più su espedienti ritmici (vedi Sandwell District), pur non nascondendo la voglia di suscitare spasmodicamente il panico nell’ascoltatore.

Il lato B picchia sulle gengive fin da subito: Straight To Hell è una dichiarazione di intenti e si fa spazio a badilate. Ma la tensione nervosa e claustrofobica di Scare Tactics e il dub gotico di Heavy Metal fungono da deterrente per la mitragliata finale di Disgust, nichilistica presa di posizione nei confronti dell’industria musicale, della situazione politica e sociale, di tutto. Peace or annihilation

Staremo a vedere se in futuro A Fallen Empire otterrà i riconoscimenti che si merita. Di sicuro, ci troviamo dinanzi ad un giovanissimo producer che, potenzialmente, potrebbe diventare uno dei portavoce delle vibranti urgenze che pulsano nell’ambiente techno underground da un pò di tempo a questa parte. Per chi scrive, uno dei dischi dell’anno appena trascorso. Senza ombra di dubbio.

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