“On the outskirts of a nuclear war torn city lies RFP. A place where the sounds, soul and trash of a bygone electronic era come to dance the night away. Welcome to the future…” – The Red Falcon Projects
Which somehow sums things up quite meticulously. The reissue of this Portland duo’s Microtonal Acid Dub is itself a strange recreation of a bygone electronic era, albeit one which occurred only two years ago. Remastered from the last remaining tape of what was a criminally limited-edition cassette-only release, pleasing analogue movements sit atop a canvas kissed with the ghostly lips of warm hiss, and will feel eerily familiar to those still understandably smitten with Aphex Twin’s “Selected Ambient Works”.
Despite the minimalist arrangements, the deep and dark kick drum, the knowingly persistent squelch of 303, be under no illusions: this is by no means an empty homage to the all-time granddaddy of ambient acid. This is a different environment, a different time. Any trace of bleary-eyed rave nostalgia is carefully obliterated by persistently hypnotic wordless depictions of a dystopian landscape scarred by it’s own old malevolence.
And if this wonderful discovery alone provides not enough tonal nourishment for ravenous ears, next month we are to be endowed with another full-length, “Simply Ravishing” via Dilated Time Records. Don’t know about you, but I can’t wait.
For all my reservations about that name, LA’s Eli Goss/Lebeatski (or The Big LeBEATski if you’re not into that whole brevity thing) sure does make exciting colourful noise.
It’s schizophrenic, yes: but any nagging doubts are soon blown away by the many other occasions when stars align, causing mesmeric oscillations of psychedelic sound to twist and swirl in sweet orbit around the brain. Nowhere is this more apparent than on the title track of his latest release, Flower Children In The Age Of Singularity, a hypnagogic synergy of glo-fi sonics and jittery distorted beats which resonate like a Flaming Lips instrumental being torn apart and stitched together again by Pepepiano.
But let it be known, the art of the dense electronic tapestry is not the only colour to Lebeatski’s vast palette. Contrast this with the jazzy nods to Flying Lotus in “2,000 4,000” and the joyous acid-baked Axelrod-esque bass riffing in “Reality Escape”, and you clearly have one immensely talented producer.
If you can’t hear that man, then you’re clearly not a golfer.
c0rrid0rs is a promising new producer currently residing in Dalston, but having spent his early years aimlessly wandering around Manchester. I know from experience that wandering around without purpose usually leads you to finding doors you weren’t looking for – I’m glad I opened this one.
Influenced by the likes of John Talabot, Baths and the most obvious reference point – Holy Other, étrangé is a triumph, with close attention paid to the texture of each sound, its a beautifully crafted piece that buries itself deep into your soul.
His other tracks are certainly worth investigation (XFLZ in particular) and these little experiments are clearly leading to a more focused realisation – c0rrid0rs could be about to create something truly special.
Why can’t there be more dark krautrock in the world? Well apparently it seems there is, much of it emerging from the hands of Bucharest’s Dan Serbanescu, and at quite a prolific rate. Quite how his efforts have managed to escape my attention before now is beyond me. Somehow I managed to miss the unmissable. How he manages to skirt beneath the radar of almost everybody else is even more perplexing. Surely it won’t be long until the lid is finally blown off this thing? It’s just so immense.
Frozen In Time, the first of six tracks on latest release “Soft In The Sun” is a veritable smorgasboard of psychedelic synth sounds; pulsing, wobbling, droning, gradually building a teutonic tension which ultimately never quite finds release. In atmosphere it bares some similarities to the The Soft Moon, albeit without the sense of frantic paranoia – instead there is a more languid, hypnotic, druggy feel which is absolutely engrossing and utterly addictive.
The otherworldly sonic meanderings of Milwaukee’s Donny Jankowski first came to attention via “The Unlikely Future Of Reverse Engineering” on the Manchester-based BFW Recordings netlabel in 2011, under his Ghostkid alias. While in construction at least it was reminiscent of the wonky hip-hop-sample-folk output of Blithe Field, tracks like “A Fleeting Daydream” and “Martian Waving Goodbye” demonstrated warmer, more enveloping qualities, dreamy lo-fi loops and subtle motifs bubbling beneath slo-fi Boards-esque beats.
Follow up ‘Things That Go Dub In The Night’ embraced a straighter, harder, more synthetic approach – if his opener represented the haze of a long hot summer, then this was definitely the dark and neon-lit nighttime flipside, eschewing wobbly loops and grooves for grainy electro keyboard lines.
Fast forward a couple of years and Ghostkid – now under the Donny And The Robot pseudonym – has mutated beyond his earlier creations whilst retaining key signatures of both. In his most recent track “Classics/Sleep For Health” a short science fiction intro makes way for a gorgeous understated groove, effortlessly supplemented by an effected guitar loop which smartly straddles the differing aesthetic approaches of his BFW output. Judicious use of vocal samples and space-launch synthesizer FX brings to mind something akin to the approach of downtempo masterminds Kites Sail High, albeit with a cleaner, more considered nature. And to close, without warning, we’re transported into a lush string-based soundscape not entirely unlike that which The Avalanches used to maximum effect in sugar-coating their softly psychedelic remix of Badly Drawn Boy’s “The Shining”.
If current offerings are anything to go by, I fancy that Donny and his so-far anonymous Robot are on the cusp of something very special indeed, and I for one am utterly giddy in anticipation of their future adventures.
Bernard & Edith are an experimental electronic duo from Manchester, comprising of Greta and Nick. I first laid eyes on them at the SWAYS Bunker supporting the majestic GREAT WAVES and Regal Safari… who I only remember for giving a terribly bland live show. In comparison, Bernard & Edith broke down the barrier between the wooden cage (in which they were performing) and the audience by displaying a level of intimacy that only the coldest heart could ignore. Greta was endearing, honest and captivating, piercing the air with her shrieks. Nick created delicate brooding soundscapes accompanied by weirdly hypnotic projections.