Function's multifaceted brainchild displays maturity with new compilation.
Founded in 1998, Infrastructure New Yorkstands at the crossroads of almost two decades worth of techno history and progression. Launched by David Sumner (a.k.a Function) in 1998 after a number of releases under the essential Synewave imprint, Infrastructure served as a personal mission statement of sorts; an outlet that allowed him to flesh out his techno blueprints unrestrained.
Before joining the now-defunct Sandwell District collective alongsideRegis, Silent Servant, and Female, Sumner successfully managed to build a modest but fully self-sufficient discography on his own label. Following the imprint’s 2014 resurrection with Support from Ed Davenport (a.k.a. Inland), Sumner has made it clear that his unwavering vision and constructive hardheadedness remain intact.
Facticity, a 15-track compilation that brings together new contributors and longtime friends, provides a moment of clarity in retrospect of the label’s achievements. As a cross section of Infrastructure’s own aspirations and as a contemporary survey of music from the intersecting techno, noise, and ambient family trees, the release is phenomenal. It operates on a versatile spectrum stylistically, indicative of Sumner’s own ventures in atmospheric, industrial-tinged work.
On one end, Inland joins a Cassegrain and Tin Man collaboration in delivering minimal, acid-dipped warehouse cuts. On the other, Silent Servant wields a wall of rough textures amidst a chilling ambient piece to give the collection a fitting end. In the middle, however, Rrose and Vatican Shadow lead the charge in supplying tracks that sound unassigned to either a club setting or lone headphone use by design. With only a tenuous connection to techno tropes, many such compositions give the whole grouping a uniquely multidimensional characteristic. Collectively, these hybrid pieces elevate the assemblage to a higher ground than most straightforward dance offerings aspire to.
Further, the compilation can’t be pigeonholed as an exercise in unchecked darkness. For all of the seemingly foreboding elements that hang over it—from the the bleak cover art to the widely publicized dissolution of Sandwell District—Facticity delivers refreshingly genuine glimpses of light. With a stage set by Campbell Irvine‘s delicate, etherial intro track, “Dislocation Is Only The Beginning,” Davenport and Sumner are careful not to hit listeners over the head with too much density and heaviness in a single dose.
Despite a broad-based approach to song curation, Infrastructure’s latest is by no means an easy listen. As neither an immediately club-ready batch of tracks nor a full outing through more experimental electronic territories, Facticity requires a particularly conscientious and patient listener.
On the other end of this journey, however, lies a highly dynamic body of work that looks well beyond the dance floor to take stock on one of techno’s most fascinating trajectories.
A1 Campbell Irvine – Dislocation Is Only The Beginning
A2 Vatican Shadow – Swords Over Paradise
B1 Rrose – Cephalon
B2 Cassegrain & Tin Man – Polyacid Blue
C1 Inland – Acidalia
C2 Post Scriptum – ISDAT
D1 Steve Bicknell – Passage Through Darkness
D2 Cleric – Concrete
E1 Blue Hour – Averting
E2 Function – Low Lights & Trick Mirrors
F1 Efdemin – Kassiber
F2 Post Scriptum – Donbelief
G Cassegrain & Tin Man – Open Sea
H1 Function/Inland – Colwyn Bay
H2 Silent Servant – End / Optimism
Infrastructure New York will release Facticity on June 17. Click here for pre-order.