Paranoid London are renowned for being masters at crafting raw, textured songs for the dance floor, but with Annihilate The World & Start All Over – the duo’s highly anticipated EP – Gerardo Delgado and Quinn Whalley have departed from their usual blueprint. Previously, we’d have known what to expect from a Paranoid London release; tongue in cheek lyrics, lo-fi acid tracks and a punk-ish edge. Paranoid London once epitomised the revival of dirty Chicago-style acid house, but this has been replaced for seamless, melodic techno.
The EP opens with the title track, ‘Annihilate The World & Start All Over’, introducing listeners to a dreamy and dubby electro soundscape, entering house territories. Dead-pan vocals and a low, drawn-out bass frequency guide the listener in as a hypnotic beat picks up in the background. The eight-minute-long track is a daze of spaced-out concussive kicks, buoyed by wavering undulations of bass.
The following track, ‘External In’, is psychedelic techno-jack, built on raw hammering kicks that bend you to their whim. The pound of the beat, weaved with the droning vocals that reverberate throughout the EP, is laced with a tinge of acid, driving the mesmerising tune back to an underground nightclub. ‘External In’ avoids all mechanoid lines of techno for whorls, twists, and vortexes of sound – the attention to detail in this track is remarkable and the build-ups will have listeners foot-stomping and fist-pumping.
‘The State of That’ seethes and hisses, gathering and quickly dispersing like steam and mist. Whilst ‘External In’ was reliant on a vicious, pulsating bass, this is conspicuously missing from ‘The State of That’. The bass surges and reclines in a series of stabs and jabs, heightening and lowering the tension, without ever releasing it. Rapid electronic melodies with oscillating frequencies develop a sense of depth to the fast-paced track.
‘Linked In’ picks up the thread where the 303 left off, delivering an eclectic track, alongside Paris Brightledge. The final track is led by a soulful voice of the Chicago scene – however, beneath the vocals, Paranoid London creates a groovy soundscape driven by pattern based punk house. This type of energetic, raw grit in sculpting zealous techno proves why the duo remains at the forefront of the industry, despite their refusal to market themselves.
Paranoid London continues to avoid regurgitating modern dance music tropes, making them an exciting duo to come across. Their EP refuses to pander to the nostalgia of their acid beginnings. Instead, each track is a wandering journey, paying homage to leftfield techno sounds that are often forgotten about, from white noise percussion to banging sine wave techno.
Nothing beats a bit of sweaty dance floor action and Annihilate The World & Start All Over satisfies that itch better than anything else.
Words: Aimee Dodd