400ppm: Fit for Purpose — ‘grimy and gothic’
Shawn O’Sullivan’s stage name 400ppm is named after the symbolic level of 400 parts per million of CO2 that the world’s atmosphere reached last year, a threshold last seen several million years ago.
The New Yorker’s alias also puns on the measurement of “beats per minute”, or bpm, by which techno is measured. In his Midwestern youth, O’Sullivan weaned himself on extreme variants of the genre such as gabber and speedcore, in which 400bpm levels are common, although he does not unleash them on Fit for Purpose.
Instead, the music is grimy and gothic, an imaginatively scuffed-up version of techno’s armoured certainty. Track titles make reference to climate change and evolution, the speeding-up of geologic time.