If you are unaware of Preston-born, Amsterdam-based Paula Temple, make no mistake: the scale of importance of her debut LP by her cannot be overstated.
Despite there being an influx of brilliant female pop and indie artists in recent years, techno is still strangely bereft of high-profile female artists. Miss Kittin is a mainstay, and other artists such as Nina Kraviz, Nicole Modouber and Maya Jane Coles (whose 2017 triple LP Take Flight is one of the best techno albums of recent years), have all quite rightly received praise for being both brilliant DJs and fantastic production artists.
But Paula Temple has moved a level beyond this, whenever you read of an electronic album which has a vaguely hard moment you’ll get a reference to Berlin den of inequity, Berghain whether truly relevant or not. If you’ve been to Berghain you will probably have danced to one of her sets (she’s a regular guest), and if not one of her sets, you’ll have almost certainly have lost your shit to one of her tracks.
Temple, an artist who uses chaos and disorder as instrumentation, has more in common with the likes of Kevin Shields, The Downward Spiral-era Nine Inch Nails, or Blanck Mass, where noise is the focal point of the music, than the original black American techno pioneers of Detroit and Chicago who used soul, jazz and funk as a basis for their futuristic techno platters.
On Edge of Everything Temple continues where her many standalone releases have left off. Anything groove-based is eschewed, and the American references have been replaced with European starkness, recalling it Kraftwerk, clipped krautrock, or Martin Hannett's sparse production of the two albums by Joy Division.
This isn’t going to be the kind of thing you casually pull out of the shelf to kick back to: it’s hard and intense, and demands attention. There are beatless sonic excursions ("Berlin"), jacking 155BPM electro punishments ("Futures Beyond", "Cages") and cinematic synth experiments which nod toward the koschmiche proto-techno sounds of Cluster and early Throbbing Gristle ("Open The Other Eye", "Nicole").
Fans of more straight ahead techno are also catered for, as "Raging Earth" channels the mid-nineties sounds of Jeff Mills and Underground Resistance. The tripped-out "Dimension Jumping" is the perfect soundtrack to those "I can’t feel my face" moments while "Quantum Unfolding" and "David & Goliath" are snarling moments of techno ferocity, stripped back to little more than a pounding kick drum and gnarled synth chords, her less is more approach to these tracks in particular show how she can use a minimal amount of sounds to make something devastatingly effective.
Edge of Everything is not for the faint of heart: it’s non-conformist and confrontational. Being industrial techno there’ll be a propensity to dismiss this as the sound of pots and pans falling down a steel staircase, but delve beyond the layers of harshness simply reveals one of the best techno albums of 2019.