Hector Sandoval is hardly a newcomer to the global techno scene. After two decades of moving bodies as one-half of the duo Exium, Sandoval has produced his first solo full-length as Tensal.
These nine new tracks are featured on a double twelve-inch vinyl release. His fierce take on minimalist techno offers thick beats and the kind of repetition that triggers hallucinations. There's also a hint of industrial dance music at work here. "Roj0" opens with static and surface noise overtop a slowly looped metallic sample. It's a stark, powerful intro that picks up steam as successive layers of beats are introduced. It's a killer, complex enough to work even without a techno treatment.
That's followed by another winner, "Convulsa." IDM fans will recognize its marching synth lines from old-timers like Nitzer Ebb and Tackhead. This is no mere tribute though — Sandoval turns those reference points into something entirely new.
There are several moments over the course of the album that demonstrate Sandoval's remarkable production style. He achieves a depth of sound that's as good as any; cueing up one of these tracks is like sticking your head inside a nightclub. Your headphones have never sounded better, and that's key. If you can fully immerse yourself in this album, it will hypnotize you. Like a lot of minimalists, Sandoval takes the power of repeated grooves — experimented with by the IDM pioneers he hat-tips here — and maximizes their effect. His finely crafted, authoritative style is bound to land this debut in DJ crates around the world. (Soma)