Time II Think
The first drip-feed from 'Ephem:era', Wen’s full length project for Big Dada, is, well… actually kinda upbeat. It’s almost ravey; in a ghostly, cavernous reverb kind of way. For those of us expecting another slice of that noir scaping, pugilist sound design the lad’s long been hip to, open your mind to something else. Something more [de]tuneful. Something delightfully minimal but massive sounding at the same time. For this is the 'new Wen'. And that's a mother fucking palindrome.
Lord Tusk’s track ‘Champion Lovers’ is exactly the sort of blunted, hard edged beat I will be bumping that little bit too loud in my VW Bora all throughout this summer. Yes, it’s just a weighty drum track with lots of precise and incisive reverbing going on, but everything I’ll ever need is all there in that rhythm. Elsewhere on the EP, things get decidedly more tense until the slap bass work on EP closer ‘Elevation’ provides a gratuitous release.
A rolling drum loop from Martyn is as transportive as heading back to your parents' house for the weekend — all of a sudden, after four hours, you’re locked back into swathes of sibling rivalry, aggressive teenage behaviour and the realisation of exactly why you left. Martyn’s loop on ‘Manchester’, his tribute to the late Marcus Intalex, is actually incredibly comforting; the perfect example of a rolling broken beat, and his execution of those chords over the top is classic 3024 loveliness.
I’ve long professed my love of the oddly moving, eerie, noise vignettes produced by O$VMV$M, and thankfully their latest eponymous collection of music on Idle Hands is another example of precisely why their mysterious patchwork brew should bear repeated plays. Sure, it’s not for your peak time commute or for bumping loud in your whip on the way to a waterpark, but the vibe of tracks such as ‘Dry Eyes’ and ‘4Mor’ make me pine for even more alone time.
Dropping on a new Bristolian label and receiving nods of approval from Peverelist and Hodge, Syz’s four-tracker sets out to cut its own path but ends up following in the footprints of those sidestepping forefathers. That’s not meant as an insult; if you’re going to cut some wayward, swung, steppy techno bits, with swirling, tumbling melodies then it’s nice to have it spoken about in the same breath as Livity Sound or Idle Hands. The music bangs too!
'Open Your Mind'
I’m super torn. Part of me feels like this sly little four-tracker from the fantastically named Jackson Almond could fuck with the norm more. But there’s a whole bunch of clever ideas, wild switch ups, lush chords and rhythmic tics to it that I really respect — especially on the tracks ‘Common’ and ‘Ee Ye’. I guess what I’m asking myself is: 'mate, are you thinking this one too much because it’s so clean, cultured and wantonly melodic?' Yeah, undoubtedly.
Sector 7 Sounds
Much like the best and most satisfying slices of sourdough bread, Drone’s latest three track 12” for Bristol’s Sector 7 Sounds is cut thick. There’s none of that aerated middle that's riddled with pockets of air and stretched out strands of nothingness; every frequency of this is pulled taut by the bass weight. The B-side ‘Been This Way’ is definitely the tip, because I’m all about reversing melodies so they sound like cheap Red Dwarf style sound effects too.
Sometimes, when I can’t sleep, I watch BBC4 documentaries about space exploration. Admittedly that's because the soothing narration and hyper complex concepts will lull me back to sleep in no time, but what’s unique about that micro niche of television programming is the wooshing and pulsing sound design. The opener of Galtier’s new seven-tracker for Infinite Machine is instantly reminiscent of that kind of gargantuan void scoring, but what’s really rad is the decidedly tribal drum programming on a cut such as ‘Koll’.
First up, naming your label/imprint/brand ‘Ghost Notes’ is cool as shit. Yes mate, it is a jazz term and jazz, as we all know by now, is a properly bitchin’ concept. But it’s the phrasing of the music that makes Impey’s new venture so notable: I mean, that piano line on ‘The Alchemist’ is a proper, tug at your heartstrings, soundtrack moment that then gets thugged up with sine wave bass and splashy delayed hi hats. Some grown man business.