2013/05 : Loose Ends

Welcome to this week’s raisin business. Our first picks from a cake that’s not always above the threshold of edibility are two pieces from A.S.K. and Sublo respectively, taken from Lifestyle’s Warp Speed sampler – a compilation as dubiously diverse as pork roast stuffed with cherry cake. Now naturally, tastes are different and thanks internet we know that everything is not simply possible but long since done; but it is the self-imposed duty of this revue to warn its readers of potentially perilous ear food and other hazards to the precious taste buds. (O if ye ‘pretension’ yellers could only see the soreness of my sonic soul…) A.S.K.’s Legion however is a proper confectioner’s daydream, full of sweet and sticky procedures and heavy enough to make a rave go nuts on diabetes. On the other end of Warp Speed’s menu we find Sublo’s The Ultimatum, which resembles the pork-end of diversity: thick and juicy basses, crispy drums and the little proverbial filth make it the tenderloin of Lifestyle’s gastro-apocalyptic stew. If you have a strong stomach, you might want to check out the rest of the tracks too; if you like to play it safe, remember: A.S.K. and Sublo are always there for you.

A.S.K. – Legion; Sublo – The Ultimatum (Lifestyle Recordings)

Our next item is another two sided heavyweight affair by Disprove. For a change, I’ll start with the issue of lesser pleasance before moving to the more mindblowing aspects of this single in EP disguise: Disprove’s new collab with Neve and First Line Squad, Autoframe, is a somewhat impenetrable mass of dirty Neurofunk spirit and a trifle too much repetition; not a bad track but not really going somewhere either. But rejoice, seekers of low end redemption, for as soon as the title track commences with its pounding bass drum, sombre atmosphere and contemplating pads, you know that something big is on its way; and when the tune finally breaks loose in a subtle and unpretentiously raw drop, behold the monster it unleashes! Yet it is especially the second part that allegedly gave reason for a Swiss congress of physicists to declare the track utterly impossible, arguing that molecular resonance with so much groove and power defies the very laws of nature and therefore cannot exist. But as always, you are welcome to paint your own picture and ascend not only above the Swiss laws of probability.

Disprove ft. Neve & First Line Squad – Doublespeak EP (Ammunition Recordings)

Another matter of icings on icebergs is IM:Ltd’s Junction 12 EP compilation: some of it is very sweet, some leaves one cold, but all billows steady and cool in deep oceans of oscillation and emotional Arctic seas. It all begins with the title track by Berlin based producer Es.tereo, and we may presume that it is the techno of his hometown that shines through the tight fabric of compelling bass drum hits, bass twangs and the pleasantly disturbing atmosphere of being locked up in a drowning submarine that reminds of Ruffhouse. Kantyze’s follow-up track Tough Breaker pretty much keeps up that atmosphere, but with a more straightforward attitude, what makes it a) a little less exciting and b) more of a soundtrack to a rave on an already drowned submarine. Mortem’s Converter adepts that concept once more and becomes the anthem of a drowned submarine that strives to re-emerge – an aspiration that becomes musically apparent in the steady progression this fine tune continuously undertakes. Quartz’ Armour King (or deliciously misspelt Amour King) – a rhythmically new interpretation of Phace’s From Deep Space lamento figure (itself a variation of Monteverdi’s Lamento della Ninfa, 1638) – and the subsequent tracks by Gerwin, Atmospherix and S-Vb all serve as appropriate soundtrack to the welfare of our massive yet a little indecisive sub, and especially Gerwin’s It’s All In Your Head is a cunning example of navigational skills – even though it is not quite clear where this release is actually going.

Es.tereo, Kantyze, Mortem, Quartz, Gerwin, Atmospherix, S-Vb – Junction 12 (IM:Ltd)

The overall Single of the Week is -what else?- Stray’s new two part adventure under the pink banner of BMTM. The A-side of this genuine masterpiece, When It Rains, offers some of the most beautiful and dreamy soundscapes thus far encountered in the colourful world of electronic music: Frail yet not weak, gentle but not kitschy weave the resemblances of a Rhodes piano a subtle harmonic net around the soft underlying rhythm and voice rudiments, and the result simply seizes your mind with astonishment and exquisite emotion. There’s no drop, no sub penetration part, none of the general commodities of modern bass music, but trust me – when the rain has fallen, you will not have missed neither of them. Besides, all that business is thoroughly taken care of by the no less charming follow-up Thumbprint. Here too Stray displays his unparalleled skill for delicate emotional manoeuvres, but also lets the bass out of the bag. The outcome is an immensely grooving stop-and-go panorama of weird sounds, fractured melodies and snappy bass pressure, and an early candidate for the track of the year. So whatever you do, get this single and enrich your life.

Stray – When It Rains / Stray & Frederic Robinson – Thumbprint (BMTM)

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