Lisa Smith, better known as DJ Shiva, isn't merely a veteran of the Indianapolis electronic music scene - she's an integral component. Claiming nearly 20 years of experience as a DJ, Shiva has been a tireless proponent of techno music in Indy.
In addition to her work as a DJ, Shiva has also been active as a producer, amassing a respectable discography since releasing her first 12" in 2005. Shiva's latest work, Consumer Product, is an expertly crafted chunk of hardcore minimal-techno. Released only digitally, Consumer Product contains three originals, plus a remix of the EP's title track.
The spare opening cut, "Consumer Product #42," builds steam by slowly weaving together shifting layers of percussion, reaching a crescendo with the introduction of a simple, clanging metallic refrain as the only non-rhythmic element in the composition.
Chroma label owner and Indy resident Adam Jay steps up for the remix of "Consumer Product #42." Jay beefs up the drums and bass, giving his version a slight edge over the original. With just a few minor tweaks, Jay ably demonstrates why he's garnered international attention as a producer.
Up next is "Abstract Labor Value," a collaboration between Jay and Shiva. The track kicks off with a thumping dance floor beat, over which the duo place gurgling sheets of distorted noise that provide a dour but intriguing contrast to the buoyant rhythmic foundation of the piece.
Shiva saves the best for last: the rhythmically rich "Insipid Market Fodder" is the EP's standout track. The introductory passage recalls traditional West African drumming and just before the hypnotic percussion pattern lulls you into trance, Shiva slaps on a funky, jacking Chicago house beat.
But Shiva isn't content with the swinging rhythm she's constructed; a quarter of the way through the track she drops the house beat to transform the drums into a rapid-fire machine-gun staccato. Eventually the house beat returns and the cycle repeats as Shiva adds jarring, off-kilter piano stabs and an ominous siren to the mix.
Consumer Product finds Shiva in top form. This is highly recommended for anyone with an interest in contemporary electronic music and absolutely essential listening for techno fans.
Hear: A full stream of the Consumer Product EP (via Soundcloud)