Eomac & Seán Carpio
TBR: 19th October
Eomac is back for a second bout of the ETXC series. A collection of four vinyl releases staggered over the months running up to Christmas, the Eotrax compendium features Eomac plus highly sought after names in the business. Mentioned previously on The Electro Review, ETXC001 featured the all-star Paula Temple and her deep and deadly artistic version of techno. This time, Irishman Seán Carpio joins Eomac for a seven track blaster of abstract and ambient soundcraft. Mirroring the micro-cosmos surrounding us everywhere we go, this record takes us into tiny worlds of feedback and progressive loops which all build together into something much greater.
Wolf Lichen starts with a sudden surge of sound, crystalline distortions scatter pitch and frequency on all sides of the geode. Broken wails of electronic sound splash and pierce with a dualistic anti-melody of white noise. From tiny cracks in the flat and near omniscient pressure of sound grow little shoots of programmed light which flicker and gradually break open their miniscule hatchery to sprout new directions. In similar ways to the iconic Subespai, unique and accurately composed textures fit together in fascinating and mind-catching ways.
As the second track builds from a flourish of whistle and fresh sounding synth crackle, several layers of interesting waveform are thrown into a large compression of sonics. Then, once the initial burst has exhausted its flame, a subtle and resonant bass with dabblings of drum fills the fluffy mixture. Hypnum is a short one and is soon replaced by the third instalment. Schistostega Pennata takes on a quieter and calmer sensation. Distant crashes and rumblings echo in the faraway background as a tonal wave flutters and sputters in a gradually growing amplitude. The pitch bends slowly, until a moment where it jumps into a higher key. The sudden instruction of the higher notes come in shorter bursts, then a droning pitch flies over the top of everything. The number explores how distortions of high-pitch tone relate to gabbing under-bass and percussive elements.
Parmelia Saxatilis takes that insisting wail from before and gives it a dancing partner. Electronic and mechanical sounds form strange correlations between themselves and the pitch is pulled down to meet the harmonising grunts of engineering. Then, clicking and computer sound almost like an old fashioned dial-up modem or programs on pre-recorded cassettes brings in the next layer of this sonic experience. Windy funnelling sounds throw us into the back of our seats while the digital readout throws shapes and numbers in periodic and strangely graceful dances of data. A thumping bass begins to stamp a clear message through the foggy jungle of rounded off noise and it makes a straight line path through the undergrowth. Soon though, this too is overcome by the effects of the natural environment. Rhytidiadelphus Squarrosus ends in a hysteria of revolving sound.
Digital Moss crumbles down to the flurry of life which clings on and leaches from the weathered rocks. Hooking roots of tense fibres nestle down and give anchorage to singular beams of distorted grapples. As the waves multiply and the frequency spreads, new effects and directions fill the missing spaces. What was once a blind wall of silence is now a full and rich dimension of sound. Perhaps the elements have created a new chink in the rock face. Droplets of textured liquid spill in glistening globules represented by oddly earth like sounds in this otherwise alien environment. Finishing on Physcomitrium, this entire EP stretches us into the epic world of tiny things made big thanks to the magic of studio wizardry. What we often call the sound between the music has been magnified and amplified into sculpted works of musical art.
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Activation / Pressure
TBR: 12th October
Walking in the huge groove recently ploughed through the field of DEXT by Bodyjack's Natajara EP, Lo Shea makes this 11th label issue a fortification. Having released on the label in the early days, friends of the DEXT music scene will be really glad to see them back. Dabbling with productions on 17 Steps and Rekids, this early pioneer comes home to make the beds, cook a meal, and serve it on china.
Already something special, the bass and hat double timed intro zaps the mind into a dancing position. As wobbling bass tones and ceiling high hand claps bring a new level of energy, it only takes a few bars before the major intensity brings to the boil. Ghostly wails from a synthesised vocal spans across the audible spectrum from left to right and from in to out of the three dimensional space.
A consistent and pushy drumbeat ensures that the dreamy sensations of the synthesiser don't capture us and pull us out of phase. Before it becomes apparent that we're caught in a high speed dance track, a new tempo from a rolling snare pushes us into the next gear. Frantic and fabulous, energy on the maximum setting, plenty of fuel is needed for this seven minute thomper. Activation truly activates the body. It culminates in whistling effects and melody which hum and drone over the massive drum-fill which revolves in its mapped out and evolving path.
Pressure regains some kind of grounding after a high-flight into the cloudy abyss. A drum and bass backdrop crafts a cavern into the wall of silence then makes way for organic and resonant drums to create a granular compress of rhythm. Heavy handed bass synths push their melodics deep into the sound, they vibrate and resonate like plucked strings yet with a digital finesse the experience is eerily accurate to tone.
Shadowy material from the basement of Lo Shea's musical capability sounds as good as the records from the dusty lofts. As the effects on the synth tones swirl on swerve the output, spaces are crafted for subtle volleys of new sounding additions to the mix. These gradually build and progress into metamorphic orchestral compositions. The track strips down to a minimum section briefly, before the tide build in the background and prepares for the back surge. A bass drone pierces the ground underfoot with a vibrant and solid energy as the drum loop gives its final flux.
Here's a video of Lights Plant Action by Lo Shea from 2014.
omac & Paula Temple
TBR: 21st September
Finalising a hectic year of music business shenanigans, Eotrax head Eomac takes on an inclusive and experimental format. Combining talents with other artists, dropping the formality of genre and style, four monthly vinyl releases leading right up to December will showcase the multidisciplinary directions of this impress. The first single to make its way to market is ETXC001.
Taking on the might of techno maestro and remixer of The Prodigy, Paula Temple, she and Eomac have created a sound neither artist could have made alone. This two track snap of the fingers sets a tone for truly out-there compositions which hopefully will become foundation stones for other future works. Thanks to their improvised and experimental nature, the core of the creativity is ready to be studied and involved again and again.
The first seven minute number begins with a staggered drum-beat which boulders along in an easy to dance to tempo. It's quickly joined by starry-eyed synthesiser that, with dreamy strokes, keys out melodies that flutter like brightly coloured insects around a pollinated flower of beats. Fuzzy distortions of strings snake their way across the top end of the sound, reaching further into space and mysterious dimensions. Taking moments to re-adjust, a percussive addition soon gives the direction enough push to increase the dancing velocity. Skyward and morish, Gestrin makes a great impression. As it reaches its culmination of progress and energy, the track boils down into a frantic and meaty sludge of sound and curved wavelengths.
Kralle moves closer to the heart of the techno sound. Where-as the first offering leaned on corners built by artists like Autechre, this b-side stands on its own two feet firmly in the middle of the floor. With a wild at heart energy and a desire to push past all the boundaries that hold back proper techno, the track ends the record beautifully. The set begins with this release and each month one more can be acquired. True collectors need to know about this set and if you'd rather go digital then you'll need to wait until early 2019 to buy the download package of the collection.
You can visit Paula Temple online,
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Also, you can buy Paula Temple's music from Amazon
You can also follow Eomac on Soundcloud
Plus you can buy music by Eomac from Amazon
Deep Sea Frequency
TBR: 5th October
Emerging from the sub-conscious fathoms of Chris Hanna's deep-seated shadow personality stands Carlton Doom. So far only appearing to Chris in his dreams and explorations of the possible, Carlton brings massive energy to big room sounds in huge hitting depth-core electro. This inaugural production sets a scene of shimmering darkness and crazy magic with its self-evidently sinister title. Dancing with the dead is perhaps something we do on a daily basis when we consider that all of our society is built on those who lived before us. From the thoughts about life to the technology we use, scientific and philosophical existence is framed by the achievements of past generations. This Belfast based drum and sound technician brings it all to life with this record.
First track Necrodancer brings home the biscuits with a snappy and catchy drumbeat which builds with bass on a gradual incline. Soon the bursts of sound and thumping percussion are met with shivering high-pitched tones that slice through the mix causing distorted bubbles and drawn-out sustain. Then, a dirty sludge bass pours across in a heavy and viscous flood of musical gravy. As it pads out the original sounds into their distorted cushioning some wailing synths pin it to the ceiling. The journey to the energy was fantastic so it seems that its happening again. Broken down sections of rhythm and drum wind the clock for a few moments before that gravely bassline hits the floor once again.
The new number hits hard with a thrust of energy in the form of rhythmic percussion at a frantic pace. As if leaping from one metallic object to another, with the tempo set to sweat-breaking, the sounds resound and resonate through a slurry of varying form. As it all begins to make sense to us, a bass drum is added to really make sure we get it. This metallic and fast-moving homage to floor-filling gravity rolls out the cymbal and drum to fill the gaps between the organic feeling bric-a-brac-bash that ceaselessly riffs onward. Interesting phasers and tubular blowing sounds combine to revolve an under-tone around the drumbeat. It makes me think of spheres within spheres. Perhaps that's what a dance-floor looks like from the DJ booth.
Fascinating rhythms seem to be a key aspect in the music on this EP. The third number begins with a swirling cake of drum and cymbal which clap and slap through a sonic mesh which bends and pulls everything into expressive shapes. As they soothe themselves on an addition of slightly tampered bass-drum, a bridge of chaos to order begins to build. A sudden silence reveals a cave of intent, which becomes the passage-way for a slinky throb bass to craft wavering tones like a torrent of bats. As we become drawn into the blank, and our eyes begin to adjust to the gloom, digital bass tries to push through the gaps in the wall. Although it struggles to hold a pure rhythm, we can feel the oncoming surge of flow that no-doubt will appear when the pressure builds. It does and with a mix of synth, sample, and drum, the track crests in a repeating surge of sound.
Final track Rot opens with a new drumbeat which resonates on the high end. It's scuffed with grating effects which have touched on all the peaks and troughs without removing their recognisability. An industrial type scream shudders from the mix as the percussion drowns into the pilot-light, then a flare of energy brings everything into one focus. Techno with a dark-wave edge that has enough power behind it to fuel big rooms of beat-hungry maniacs makes this first offering of four one to dedicate to the rest of Carlton Doom's musical output.
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Touch From A Distance Records
TBR: 12th October
Some time ago, Opal Sunn played a set of their experimental material at a Berlin house party. One of the guests just happened to be connected to Touch From A Distance's Nick Höppner. The stage was set from that moment on, as Opal Sunn clearly demonstrated a superior and professional command of their tools. Two Japanese ex-pats who chose to make their home in the centrefold of the electronic music scene, this Berlin based duo bounce their skills from each other's music to create a great uplifting and party based sound. Since releasing two EPs on their own label, Planet Sundae, Hiroaki Oba and Al Kassian move across to TFAD and all the firepower that goes with it.
The EP rips open with a down and dirty funk beat which pounds every other time with a sludgy bass tone. Airy fills waver over the top in a flurry of melodic harmonisation while a tribal style forward motion pours from the drums. Tingles and twinges in the top section revolve and eventually turn over the stone revealing a jewel dropped inner soundscape of catchy dance. Cerebral body music that takes a hold of our mind and stomach pulls us into the energy and gets us moving. Space building phases of sound grow and submerge in the frothy mix of drum, melody, and percussive composition. Parallax progresses into a frantic engine of rhythmic good vibes which seem to come from every direction.
A new sensation is delivered as Aura begins. Swerving tones and thumping cymbals sit on a foundation of subtle bass. New tuneful sounds bubble from the wellspring of silent potential giving an effervescent quality to the track. Echoing drums canter off into distant corners while the uplifting and pacey melody brings new directions in with each few bars. Drawn out sonic groans build themselves into the sound, ranging on the peaks left behind by the persistent and catchy drumbeat. Each subsection of sound brings home the right direction and tangent to the delivery of dance music to allow a full spectrum of prompts and timing.
Stripped down sounds comprise the third number, a minimal techno feel mixes with a heady sensation brought in by warm distortions. Allowing for more clarity in the composed melody, the nuances of pitch and synth tone build glowing spot-lamps of sound and flow. Smart and catchy hi-hat rhythms sit over the bouldery underscore while muddy coagulations of synthesiser simmer slowly over each revolution. Distances and journeys are represented by ever shifting currents of looped additions to the well crafted and multi-directional mix. Mirage perhaps builds an illusory wall of sound from several well-placed points on the sonic landscape.
As Phantom begins, earthy undertones build and waver on a flowing bed of club-based energy. More upbeat melody garnishes the harmonising bass and moody drum to form a dreamy layer of mind wandering and musical accompaniment. Pulsing tones build riffs and hammer them to the ground with pegs of high-end bass and frilly cymbal fills. Less in your face than the previous three numbers, Phantom turns the heat down a little to allow us to stand just that bit closer. Once through the open window, the clever use of ingredients makes itself even more apparent
Rowan Blair Colver for the Homunculus Media Group
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