Calling his third album The Killer sounds unforgiving, but Shed seems such an inoffensive moniker, bordering on a random flick through the dictionary as way of choosing, that you wonder how much harm he can really do. It becomes a classic sucker punch in a program of techno guarantees that the majority seem ignorant of. Once you’ve bought into the callous from passive persona, Rene Pawlowitz’s main means of attack is nothing simpler than sounding louder than everyone else. Rocket science it most definitely ain’t, but Shed’s drums on “I Come By Night” and “Ride On” are some of the nastiest kicks and thwacks speakers will have forced upon them, rigging up a PA system for a prison of nightmares.
Two additional tactics make The Killer much more multipurpose than your average techno assassin. Ambient detoxes renounce the hammerings and break up the black-heartedness, either for Shed to wind up for his next attack, or to let listeners off the hook so they think the album is human after all. Naturally it’s for the former’s benefit. Tellingly, tempo changes are key; boring holes into skulls doesn’t belong exclusively to the 4×4 rhythm, with Shed flipping to two-step and irregular marches and kickbacks to disorientate your already mercy-pleading ears even further. Forty-five minutes that you’re unlikely to forget in a hurry.
File under: The Fear Ratio, Emptyset, The Traveller