The UK's second bid for crossover LP of the year is an odder beast than its predecessor (Disclosure). No vocals or pop songwriting chops here. Instead, Avery is preoccupied with 303 and guitar pedals while demonstrating a brilliant sense of pacing. Opener Water Jump sounds like a thoroughly modern take on Voodoo Ray. Elsewhere, as on the title track, Avery's admiration for Paul Woolford's spiky Erotic Discourse is evident. Towards the record's conclusion, Avery let's more diverse influences seep in. New Energy (Live Through It) uses a motorik rhythm while Spring 27 forgoes drums entirely.
Top notch dj tool with a cheeky title. Nina at the Boiler Room may be a joke at the expense of Ms. Kraviz; the track contains a rave siren, ham-fisted 707 programming and a simple earworm synth lead. All that said, it's addictive. No Stopping is stately, propulsive dub house, while The Future in fact looks back to a well-trod Chicago past.
Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement
Reissue of a rare cassette from Domenic Fernrow's (Vatican Shadow, Prurient) conceptual and joyless project. There is a formula at work here allowing for engrossing, textural pieces. In summary, a bass pulse of varying complexity sets the tone, then blown-out field recordings are layered on top with no thought to traditional melody. The music has a lot in common with Fernrow's noise roots, but it's subdued, repetitive and meant to do low-end damage on the right system.
Rod Modell is further submerged in his gauzy world on his third full-length outing. The rhythms are mostly implied, with drums playing a lesser role on this record than ever before. Images emerge from the ambient drift. Atmosphere is closest to traditional dub techno, with three simple chords wrapped in an analog blanket. On Fern, a twisted crescendo of organ chords are a jagged edge through the analog pelt. Lotus Leaves bears out the visual theme, acting as the Deepchord equivalent of windchimes. On this track, the flywheel of a lone cyclist appears somewhere in the mix, setting the listener on a dark city street.
DJ EZ delivered one of the most dissected Boiler Room sets in history late last year; now Fabric has brought him in for its latest live installment. This mix is classic UKG at its heart, yet contemporary producers fit in remarkably well. The effortless cutting that has cemented EZ's reputation as one of the garage/2-step's true masters is evident in the mix of Majestic's Let's Go Back in to Royal T's I Know You Want Me. EZ also subscribes to the belief that djs should tell stories, using N'n'g's I Keep and the SE22 mix of Stephen Emmanuel's Hold On to create a sound and sentiment greater than the sum of its parts. The absolutely rinsed Dem 2's Destiny makes an appearance, but it feels like an old friend in this context. The last segment of the mix includes Disclosure, whose slavish devotion to the UKG sound allows for seamless inclusion. EZ brings things to appropriate finality with MJ Cole's twinkling pianos.
Rotters Gold Club
Expansive remix LP of the arabic acid postpunk duo (Andrew Weatherall and Timothy J. Fairplay). That much of this material is faithful to the original is a testament to the sturdiness of the duo's aesthetic choices. Lots of highlights here. Justin Robertson uses windswept Turkish psych influenced guitars on his remix of Beglammered. Black Merlin turns in a killer take on Skwatch, shifting from dark Moroderisms to a sparse 80s bassline. Daniel Avery's take on We Are the Axis feels like New Order's more triumphant moments through a kraut filter. Finally, SF psychedelic outfit Wooden Shjips bring the collection to a shambolic, rocking close.
Mr. Saturday Night
The MSN crew follows their Hank Jackson 12" with another producer who sound is live and lo-fi in comparison to earlier releases by Anthony Naples and Alex Burkat . The title track is the most melodic of the bunch, beginning with alien toms, a repetitive pad and a string lead. Playing My Numbers uses phased, distorted percussion occasionally reveals a lush pad emerging like the sun from thick fog.