NULLPTR 'RECURSOR' 12"
Eddie Symons' fine recent run for Central Processing Unit continues. The NULLPTR mastermind makes it four releases on the Sheffield label in five years with Recursor, a six-track EP which balances precision-engineered machine-funk grooves with an overarching aura of gracefulness.
Recursor finds its lane from the opening title-track. On the quicksilver 'Recursor' we get Drexciyan punch, a needlegun bassline and staccato arps offset by eerie washes of synths. There's a tension between the two elements of the track, and this yin-yang combination means that' Recursor' will work equally well for both the rave's darkest corners and also the euphoria of a sunrise set.
After the title-track begins the record at breakneck speed, 'Pulsar' puts proceedings into cruise control. There's still enough punch in the drum programming to ensure that 'Pulsar' will deliver in the dance, but this mid-paced tune is dominated by its warping bassline and keening keys, all of which comes together for a pretty and strangely wistful number. 'Pulsar's energy persists into following cut 'Phase Function, though there's a twitchiness to the bassline here which gives this track a nervier, more neurotic feel. As well as the golden age of Detroit electro, you're also looking at Silicon Scally and Annie Hall as ballpark references, though there's a winning idiosyncrasy to the production here which is all NULLPTR's own.
The groove which kicks off the second half of Recursor is one of the most focussed on the whole EP - 'Seil' has a bassline which moves with the intent of a heat-seeking missile. When combined with the distant snap of 808s and twinkling arps, the whole thing very much maintains the shadowy feeling of 'Phase Function', and it's an energy that Recursor rides into 'Stone Tape'. 'Stone Tape' boasts another stellar bassline, but rather than the low-end barrelling forward intensely as it does on 'Seil' the bass here skips all around the mix, pleasingly erratic and playful.
'Portal' is an apt title for Recuror's sixth and final track. Indeed, the whole vibe of 'Portal' makes it a perfect closer for this EP of detailed electro jams. This tune really does feel like a portal being opened, the bass and drums busying themselves on the floor while chemtrails of synth in the upper-end of the mix intimate something enticing beyond the threshold.
Sparky yet sleek, Recursor is the latest fine machine-funk collection from NULLPTR.
RIYL: Annie Hall, Silicon Scally, Legowelt
Cat no. CPU01111000
Released: 6th October 2023