Birmingham Techno paragon Monrella (Mick Harris) doesn’t mess about, returning to Trauma Collective with ‘Shank’, a no-nonsense cut of heads down 909 techno. His analog production strikes a fine balance between solid groove and industrial rumble as the characteristically dry precussion crunches around a relentless synth stab.
Alongside Regis and Surgeon, Harris was an architect of the dark Birmingham sound that blossomed out of club night House of God. He played a key role in the genesis of grindcore in the late 80s as the former drummer of Napalm Death and went on to translate his taste for raw, analog distortion into rugged 4×4 club tools with productions for Regis’ ZET label in the mid 90s as Monrella. Several alias projects followed, the broken techno explorations of Fret, beatless dark ambient with Lull and the dub inflected trip-hop / illbient of Scorn.
‘Shank’ is remixed on the flip by the Berlin-based Force Reaction, a collaborative project from Kwartz and Kaiser, two purveyors of a particularly muscular strain of techno igniting dances across Europe. They last released together on Kaiser’s K S R imprint back in 2021 but this is Kwartz’s second outing on Trauma Collective after a link up with Monrella on TRM003. Their version introduces reverb and echo to the mix while firmly retaining dancefloor utlity.
Rounding up the B-side is a polyrhythmic and densley textured remix from Héctor Sandoval as Tensal. Sandoval is one half of pioneering Spanish techno duo Exium, and he also contributed to ZET back in 2001. Tensal doubles up on this release, dispatching a second remix in the form of a peak-time thumper available as a digital only bonus track.