VTSS // Borderline Tenderness

The vanguard of hybridised techno has never felt more vital than in the steamy, sticky ‘Goin Nuts’. VTSS, aka Martyna Maja, pits her supple industrial-strength production against LSDXOXO’s dead-eyed come-ons, creating a maelstrom of tension in which the drums feel like steel girders tossed about like matchstick cabers. It’s the perfect opening to the latest blistering statement of identity from the Berlin-based producer, who’s already been searing our ears via Intrepid Skin, Repitch, Hellcat Industries and more. Check the video for an extra sensory layer to this stand-out moment from the year in techno.

Even in the tracks without guest appearances, Borderline Tenderness feels like a party. ‘C.E.T. Unlimited’ turns a blizzard of noise euphoric thanks to a smartly placed hi-hat. Uncompromising deconstruction becomes cheeky and playful due to the particular vocal groans sampled and splayed across ‘Woah’. There’s even a faithful distillation of OG industrial synth seduction on ‘To Whom All Lovers’, which features the pitch-perfect posturing of Jasmine Azarian. It’s totally distinct from every other track on the EP, and yet seems to reveal a core ingredient in Maja’s rush-inducing sound.

Not a moment is wasted across Borderline Tenderness, and indeed every piece feels like its own individual world. Inspiration flows at different tempos, but the energy and intensity remains peaking into the red throughout. Pairing this addictive adrenaline kick with the frankly dazzling levels of production, VTSS has created a cruelly perfect trigger for those who miss a more deviant kind of dancefloor.