Resident Advisor gives αlpha a 4 out of 5.
Graham Zilla’s debut as Nautiluss last year on Hemlock seemed to place him in the “bass music” camp, but his debut for Tiga’s rejuvenated Turbo is straight techno. Indeed, “Mixed Numbers” ticks all the boxes you’d expect from modern, industrial-influenced techno: white noise-soaked chords shooting out from a steam-powered engine, suspended hi-hats, and skronky melody, it’s a persuasive take on musclebound Ostgut styles. “Sabbath” seems to work from the same template, letting that central synth riff snake out just a bit more amidst chiming motifs and metal-on-metal collision.
Betraying his non-techno roots, “Cloud City” limps on a broken beat as it butterflies its repetitive motif, splaying it out and flattening it before building it back again. Doing the broken thing one better, “Spidercrawl” is essentially “Cloud City” with a knife stuck in its joints, filter-happy and staggering in pseudo-dubstep fashion. With each progressive track on Alpha Nautiluss lets in a little more light and melody, and that’s what makes his particular brand of techno so exciting. It’s a North American take on German techno that works within orthdoxy but does its best to transform and mutate within those confines.