Phase Fatale Scanning Backwards Ostgut Ton
The music of Hayden Payne, aka Phase Fatale, lives in a world outside of techno’s linear, forward-facing trajectory, tracking back to the styles which laid the groundwork for the genre. Nods to punk, EBM and early electro are all obvious and equally prominent in new album Scanning Backwards, but there’s a polished vibrancy at play, too.
Standout track Mass Deception is a bruising slow burner informed by the sheets of noise that lurk beneath the percussive pulse. Though there are times that the LP feels more like a selection of insights into Payne’s palette than a fully cohesive album, this is no bad thing. The distinct sonic hallmarks of Berghain – where Payne is a resident – have played a crucial role in the crafting of the record. “All tracks on the album, no matter the style, were tailored to sound a certain way in Berghain,” he has revealed, pointing to the way frequency affects the body when you experience a set at the storied Berlin club.
There’s certainly a lot here tailored for the needs of the dancefloor – particularly standout closer Splintered Heels, which is full of the rich, industrial menace that you could imagine pushing Berlin’s famed institution to its aural limits. It’s in these moments that the album truly succeeds – reminding you of the thrill of losing yourself on the floor.