2nd Sun – Quanta

When we interviewed Liar a few weeks back, we got a detailed insight into the Tessier-Ashpool Corporation and what makes it tick. We found that at the heart of the label lies an emphasis on ‘quality, sophistication, and futurism’, qualities that the label explores through a machine music doctrine. It translates into an innovative future-club sound, emphasising the bottom end and thriving in minimalist arrangements and the latest edition to TAR is no different. 2nd Sun continue their fruitful induction in to the label with Quanta, their second instalment on the London-based label, with a their house-infected interpretation of TAR’s machine-music doctrine. Quanta’s club intentions are laid bare with an 808 favouring the weaker beat during the first bars of opener Drift, setting the scene with an electro pulse. A filtered synthesiser joins the fray after a short bridge, filling the space in between the beats. Often squawking as it pulls itself out of the depths, it only focuses on a few essential pitches to drive the progression along and give the listener something familiar to latch on to. 2nd Sun bring a polished sound to the eighties-inspired synthesisers, retro-fitting their future-club sound with an amiable, engaging palette. The North-England duo carve out their productions out of a mere few parts, which they utilise to their full potential and deliver to our ears with bulldozing effect. If there ever was a wall of sound they’ve broken through it. Divisive Circuit is the most rewarding in this regard, with an acid-riff of such viscosity that it warrants the question; what is this Divisive Circuit, a brick? The hollow sound of the resonating filtered bass is muddy, sticking around ears like some malleable rubber. Your thoughts immediately go towards a murky basement with a distorting sound system, streaks of morning light piercing through the blacked-out windows.

Control evokes a similar response with a bouncy 808 pulling a few essential pieces again in a single direction. 2nd Sun show an inherent mastery of their skill on this track particularly as the various pieces seemingly appear out if the same subterranean space, these strands all flowing out of the tail-end of that relentless kick. It hits you against the chest and pushes you against the wall, while it goes to work on your kidneys. From start to finish, Quanta engages the listener head-on with these innovative club-focussed tracks that still incorporate the essence of Tessier Ashpool’s machine music doctrine. The label’s catalogue is filling out and a very distinct sound has sprouted from it. It’s a UK-informed sound and 2nd Sun’s latest outing is no different with a sound focussing on the deep end of the dance floor. I can also distinguish a slight evolution in their sound, especially as they move away from the strict rules that govern their house influences, something I suspect is a direct result of the label’s influences, and the trend TAR are systematically setting with these releases.