On the Radar: Shawn Rudiman – Timespan

Shawn Rudiman swings by Pittsburgh Tracks with his retrospective album, Timespan. The Waveform Transmitter’s Niall Johnston grabs onto ten up-front electro and techno cuts. 

Shawn Rudiman is a straight up analogue techno and electro don. Hailing from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he has been producing since the ‘90s with a steady stream of releases on labels including 11th Hour Recordings, X-Trax, and Detroit Techno Militia.

In 2016 Rudiman self-released Synthdrome Vault Archives, which was a chance to hear some of an apparently sizable pile of unreleased material. His latest album Timespan works on a similar premise; a two-decade long retrospective selection of tracks from his personal collection.

The 10 track album – released on Pittsburg Tracks – provides a lovely mix of the different styles that he has dabbled in over the years which, as he puts it, “go from base-level warehouse to more cerebral sophistication”.

The album opens with two foreboding electro compositions, with the opener – 75 All The Way – having a wonderful quality to it that feels like waves of digital fluctuation, brought on via shimmering keys. Electro Days meanwhile, has a strong Drexciya influence.

Up on B1 is the most ‘base-level warehouse’ track, as repetitive loops wash over thumping bass, high-hats and natural percussion, set to a 130 bpm beat.

This fairly single-track approach is in contrast to most of the album. Timeframe 1, 2 and 3 productions are based around ambient rhythms that fall and build. Mellow chords set the scene as injections of Rudiman’s multitude of hardware offer intriguing divergence from the tone.

Detachable Needs on D1 is the final hard-hitter of the collection, offering a dark and unrelenting heads-down mover. Discordant analogic waves swirl in the background as abrupt junctions to the kicks develop a brooding feel. The omittence of high-hats at the start and end of the track gives the sensation of a complete journey as the outro returns to bring you back to the beginning.

The final two compositions ease out the album pleasingly on a tone which works well into the retrospective nature of this release.  They feel like the closing remarks of a personal story from an artist who has given the underground music scene a lot, and seemingly has much more to give- if this selection of previously unheard music is anything to go by.

We look forward to hearing more new music from Shawn Rudiman, but Timespan will keep us saited for some time. The only thing left to say is SHAWN, COME TO THE UK AND PLAY LIVE FOR US! We’re dying to see you in action.

Timespan was released on the 24th of November on Pittsburg Tracks. Go check it.

https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/0dfsEyspJCU3OOTph41rMn

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