Phase Fatale – Skyscraper (Avant! AV!030 – 2014)
Hailing from New York, 23-year-old Hayden Payne acts in the European electronic scene after having found a new home in Berlin and a label in Bologna. Apart from the compilation appearances on Nostilevo and Electric Voice Records in 2013, Payne’s debut as Phase Fatale happens on the Italian imprint Avant!.
Musically inspired by the era long before his birth, Payne is a keen observe raw analogue touch of cold early electronics. However the title track “Skyscraper”, an Overdrive-reminiscent bassful techno stomper does not impress much. For a few moments “Waveguide” sounds like a remix of the previous but turns quickly into the EP’s memorable track, guided by a knockout synth hook and the spirit of EBM romancers with rhythm in their blood.
After less imaginative “Untitled” the finale arrives in a different note: Firstly floating in the nothingness, “Vacuum” switches from ambient to dissonant stepper, pressurized by kick drum action. Maybe a too cautious debut but the potential is there for darker side productions.