Despite his rave roots, the Berlin-based artist’s new album and the club night he promotes draw further away from techno and deeper into the post-apocalyptic dance fringes of the revered Downwards label it’s released on. Angus Finlayson investigates. There’s plenty of dark, challenging techno around at the moment, but the output of SAMUEL KERRIDGE stands alone. First emerging with an EP on Horizontal Ground last year, Kerridge’s sound is as romantic as it is grim, a bleak death march through some snow-blown apocalyptic landscape. In conversation, the Berlin-based Kerridge – these days he goes simply by his second name – seems hesitant to use the “techno” descriptor at all. Certainly, while his early output often retained a stodgy four-four stomp in amongst the noxious soundscaping, his forthcoming album seems less beholden to the dancefloor than ever. The seven tracks found on A Fallen Empire, appearing through the renowned Downwards imprint, retain a rhythmic backbone, but explore a form of frostbitten drone more indebted to the fringes of the Birmingham label’s revered back catalogue – or, indeed, the broader tradition of industrial music – than to the landscape of contemporary Berlin. Along with his wife Hayley, Kerridge also runs a Sunday daytime event in the city. Contort has seen the likes of Downwards boss Regis, Bill Kouligas, Cristian Vogel, and more perform unconventional sets at Kreuzberg arts space Mindpirates, under the slogan “NOT just another techno/house party.” But while Kerridge’s creative demeanor is one of militant resistance to all things mediocre, in person he is a remarkably mild fellow, more than willing to hold forth on the failings of Berlin’s nightlife, why Regis ought to be on the public payroll, and the raving inspiration that is his father.