Ternion Sound – Point Source EP [SMD028]

Tag-team trio, Ternion Sound, lay down their third record this year, Point Source, this time on Silent Motion Records. Made up of Minneapolis’ soldiers, Johnny Foreplay, Apparition and Nostalgia, the 140 knowledge in Ternion Sound is well seasoned to say the least. Their brand new, four-track EP explores bouncy, rattling and rasping textures blended into a mechanical underworld. Having recently dropped tracks on Prime Audio, Dank ‘n’ Dirty Dubs, DUPLOC and now Silent Motion Records, the dynamic trio aren’t starting their reign quietly. The group’s combined experience has earned them a high profile from the outset. Whilst they may have needed to climb the ranks as individual artists, Ternion Sound begins its life as an established player.

Check out their Instagram for some backstage insights into their production. The rippling plastic bin-bag noise from ‘Bargain Bins’ appeared on their story as an experiment long before it was used in the track. The label, Silent Motion Records, is home to a solid roster of forward-thinking dubstep artists like Kronodigger, Fill Spectre and Soukah. Both Kronodigger’s ‘Surreal & Addicted’ single and SpaceJail’s ‘Unscripted’ EP dropped in April and now just two months later we get ‘Point Source’ from Ternion Sound. For a label calling itself Silent, it’s making a lot of noise that we can’t ignore.

Kicking off the ‘Point Source’ EP is ‘Bargain Bins’. A descending swagger meets a rasping plastic bag taped to a sound system. A broken circuit board befriends a muffled plastic doll and they begin their pimp quest across New York. Of course, they need sweet threads, so they hook the ‘bargain bins’ together. Bouncy yet scruffy, this squeezy talker knows how to slide into your DMs. Rummaging through dynamics, ‘Clunker’ produces atmosphere at the outset. Somewhere between Distance in 2008, J:Kenzo in 2015 and Inspector Dubplate from whenever you remember him, ‘Clunker’ pops it like a starter who knows their steps. Each structural assembly point sits loud and clear in its appropriate place. The second drop is the real attention grabber here, blending in breaks and delayed character that excites the synapses. Escalating and submerging above and beneath frequency filters, ‘Clunker’ finds dramatics in 60’s superhero brass and thick, Lego brick basslines.

‘Creepmaster 5000’ sails confidently through. Imagined by the musicians, the beast is a skulking terror of the night. The tripping-over-themselves hi-hats and cymbals support it, New York sirens searching above Escher-shadowed fire escapes. Slow and terrible, the ‘Creepmaster 5000’ crawls ever closer through the filth. The background and foreground become very prominent in this track. While the ‘Creepmaster 5000’ pulses outside, you dodge it from high street to high rise. Wherever you go, the sounds dip in frequency and velocity, suggesting changing proximity to the song’s main action: the monster. Perhaps its claws have sunk into your shoulder? ‘Ingenue’ is the beefy riddim backing up the EP’s dancefloor pace. Sticking sickly to its hook, its FuntCase wobbles and Mr. K speed limits give it the push-to-skank we’ve been waiting for. Rough blurs of bass blend, untied ends overlapping and jarring track expectancies. Rippling through the gutter are metal alloys turned biological in the fallout.

The EP’s atmosphere and realism seem to be viewed through the blurry lens of midi. Where a helicopter flies, searchlight lit through Manhattan’s skyline, instead a rising fuzz increases its velocity, chops its LFO and scans, panning through automation. Dirty back alleys with thugs throwing punches line the perimeter of each track, early Rottun Recordings logos stenciled onto their black hoodies. SGT. Pokes urging a 4am crowd forward mix with memories of typing Stenchman into the search engine to listen to some real dutty after school. It seems that once again, the denied brostep scene finds itself augmented into a less forceful, but more coercive dance formula.

Point Source is out now and available from Juno Download, Beatport and the Silent Motion Records Store.

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