Kudos Distribution

Lina Filipovich – Idealized (Central Processing Unit)

Filipovich is one of a kind. The Belarus-born, Paris-based artist works in a multitude of media – found footage films, painting, silkscreening and performance to name a few. It’s her musical output that has caught the attention of late, though, with Filipovich dropping a run of releases in recent years which began with 2021’s Magnificat on Time Released Sound. Filipovich takes as much of a novel approach to her music-making as she does with her other artistic endeavours – Magnificat was centred around treated samples of Sergei Rachmaninov’s All-Night Vigil, and she’s also combined classical composition with contemporary electronic techniques on her subsequent drops.

For Idealized, Filipovich’s debut on Sheffield’s Central Processing Unit, she maintains the gothic air which characterised her previous releases and applies it to a record of widescreen contemporary techno joints. These tracks represent something of a gear shift for CPU, a label which has long made its name by delivering top-quality electro and machine-funk jams, but such is the quality of Idealized that these superbly-executed techno productions are sure to win over label fans both old and new.

Idealized is very much schooled in the German tradition of minimal/dub techno. Tracks like ‘Physical’, ‘Wave’ and ‘Dance Minor’ all anchor themselves on single, steady drum pulses and delay-drenched single-chord loops. Filipovich generally lets the central idea of these tracks play out across several minutes while introducing increasingly disorientating elements into the rest of the mix – wiccan atmospherics, clashing chords, spiralling delays and so forth. It’s an approach at once respectful of Filipovich’s predecessors – Basic Channel, Deepchord, Ellen Allien and so on – but also full of idiosyncrasies and individuality.

Many of the club cuts here hardwire us into the moody, murky environs of the darkest Berlin Basements. ‘Ultra Red’ rides forward on a crisp drum machine snap, a menacing burble of bassline and an eerie single-note synth whistle in the upper end of the mix; ‘Dance Minor’ shows off a bit of KiNK in the brain-bending modular loop that waxes and wanes at its centre; the second-half run from ‘Wave’ to closer ‘Small Cave’ travels ever-further out into deep space – the kick drums remain insistent, yet the textural elements are delivered with an edge and flair that evidences Filipovich’s ability to think outside the box.

Filipovich’s unusual methods, and the influence of sound art and electroacoustic composition on her music, are drawn out further when Idealized steps away from the dancefloor. ‘Hydra’ comes off like a more gothic version of Pole – its central pulse draws from dub techno but never quite settles into a danceable groove, and this beat is combined with the kind of unnerving keyboard work that would make John Carpenter proud. Although closer ‘Small Cave’ eventually locks into another dark-room techno roller, the opening section of the track delivers a weightless soundscape of bright, tinny chords and a scene-setting field recording.

Idealized, the first drop on Central Processing Unit from Paris-based Belarusian Lina Filpovich, broadens the label’s horizons with a selection of finely crafted minimal/dub techno joints.

RIYL: Andy Stott, Deepchord, Ellen Allien, Moritz von Oswald

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