Since the 2010s, a crop of artists have shifted and contorted electronic dance music into new levels of aggression and experimentation, challenging as well as rewarding their listeners. Bristol duo Giant Swan, who create raw and pummeling industrial techno with meticulous attention to detail, are at the vanguard of this sound. They collide clattering synths and screeching, slamming beats with dense, overwhelming textures, but the energy of their music ensures that even its noisiest and most terrifying moments feel like a great time. The duo’s influences include the late Jah Shaka’s bone-rattling dub sound system, Lightning Bolt’s primordial noise-punk chaos, and the industrial techno of pioneers such as Regis and Surgeon. Some commentators simply call the end result “techno punk,” but it’s more accurate to describe it as high-octane techno that revels in punk’s reckless energy.
On Giant Swan’s latest release, a five-track EP Fantasy Food, they push their propulsive beats to the forefront of their frantic sound. Standout track “Abacuses” centers a pulsating techno beat, with turbulent, frenetic synths dancing around the periphery. On closer “RRR+1,” the duo adorn an unrelenting beat with their characteristic chopped-up vocal samples. Fantasy Food leaves you feeling out of breath in the best sense—its sweeping tornado of texture and rhythm is among the very best that contemporary techno has to offer.
Giant Swan Fetter and RXM Reality open. Thu 5/25, 9 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, $15, 21+