Combining throbbing electronic music with scratchy and crackly noise elements, Providence, Rhode Island’s Container has been getting more and more notice in recent years. Perhaps one reason for this is the fact that musician/producer Ren Schofield (who essentially is Container) has continued to improve, pumping out almost industrial-oriented tracks using conventional techno beats even as many electronic artists have been caught up in various flavor of the week “genres.” Container’s 2014 instrumental EP Adhesive doesn’t sound much different from the group’s immediately previous release Treatment, yet Adhesive is a better, more polished and precise effort that’s quite a bit more consistent than many of this year’s rather unwieldy electronic albums.
“Glaze,” a track built around a pretty standard but punchy 4/4 kick drum beat, starts the album off with electronic toms cascading over screeching metallic accents during the track’s middle section. “Slush” sounds a bit more aggressive right off the bat, as high-pitched squeals erupt over crunchy percussion accents, but it eventually settles into a hypnotic main section pushed along by an unyielding drum roll. Increasingly frantic as it goes along, this second track gives way to the almost icy and trance-inducing “Complex,” possibly the track here that would be most at home in a dance club due to its hammering, infectious rhythm. Adhesive finishes up with the (appropriately named) title track, a finale which places the listener in a sticky mess of nagging sonic elements – heavy bass drum hits along with chattering woody percussion accents. By its conclusion, the track becomes quite spacey as ghostly shrieking overwhelms the remaining elements, providing an appropriately mysterious ending to this odd but captivating EP.
Much of Adhesive seems designed to make a listener feel uneasy, as if he’s being assaulted by harsh rhythms and unconventional electronic sounds. One of the disc’s most surprising aspects then is that this whole thing is strangely danceable from start to finish despite the fact that there’s not much in the way of a traditional melody – even one of the barebones techno music variety - going on at any point. As such, the album may be too repetitive or minimalistic for some people, but the prominent, energetic rhythms certainly grab a listener’s attention and rarely let up once they do get going. Personally, I love Container’s old school approach and the dirty-sounding combinations of electronics and noise on display here. Adhesive compares favorably to the best 1990s-era electronic music, and I’d say it’s definitely worth checking out – one of the year’s best electronic releases.
8.5 / 10
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