One of few young American producers to make headway with those who regard techno, first and foremost, as a thinking person's music, Matthew Dear is handy both with motion-minded beats and with the kind of melodies that can turn an otherwise-typical dance track into an anthem. His dexterity came to fullest fruition on 2003's Leave Luck To Heaven, a beloved collection of refracted rhythms and quasi-pop that seemed to have some form of crossover in mind. That's less the case with Suckfish, an album credited to Dear's markedly harder, darker alias Audion.
The fluorescent spiral vortex on the cover (viewable in mesmerizing motion at suckfish.org) makes a good visual cue for tracks that find lots of deceptive variance within their rigid constructs. "Titty Fuck" takes a simple few-note figure and spins it in concentric circles that grow bigger and smearier with just subtle changes in vantage. "Kisses" shows off Suckfish's thorny side with a noisy ray-gun riff aimed to vaporize everything but the sound of shivering drum cymbals. Tracks like "Taut" hint at Dear's sense for melodic mystery, but before long, his Audion side gets back to banging: "The Pong" and "Just Fucking" are pure, furious techno to usher in the end of days without losing sight of what makes a good night.