Body Mechanics EP
TBR: 16th November
San Francisco based DJ and Producer Sepehr Amilagham has worked extensively on the six track acid dance stomper which culminates his many years of performances and studio work into one vinyl offering. Mastered by George Horn at Fantasy Studios and adorning beautiful and captivating artwork by Nicole Ginelli, the EP reaches deep into the realms of sonic cartography. A range of influences from Boards of Canada and Aphex Twin to post-hardcore bands gives the Sepehr sound a distinctive edge.
Body Mechanics opens with the eponymous song. A fluffy oscillator beat spans out in a wavery yet stable rhythm. Drums add a new level of tempo that creates a platform for the music to stand on. As the loops roll out, new additions in the mix give extra layers and direction to the piece. Eerie and atmospheric synthesiser gives a wholesome sense of dark rooms and flashing lights. As clever and quirky drum-fills break the beats down into oddly shaped jigsaws, sounds and melodic rhythms ensure we remain gripped by the music.
The next track begins with a resonant bass drum which pulses in an ever so slightly distorted room. It's quickly joined by frantic hats which crackle and pop over the constant throb of bass. New drums give even more rhythm to the already fiery tempo while the occasional vocal sample flies from one end to the other. Befallen seems to take us down to ground level and allows us to observe the lower forces at work within the mind of this abstract yet accessible DJ.
Third up opens with a breathy synth tone which pulses in a slow and sensual flow. Drums then roll up to give a better sense of the dancing tempo and then as we're beginning to fit nicely into the pattern, the bass line spills over the side and into earshot. Bouncy and spongy beats from the frothy deep tones in the synthesiser bass line give a new flavour or enjoyability to the previous dark and scary sounding atmosphere. Velvet Dream seems to settle on the frantic and minimal sounds of synth tones and subtle drum for a fair distance, it's a glorious texture and worth spending time with.
We turn the disk over to reveal the three B side tracks which are actually just as fun and danceable as the previous ones. Roses and Thorns begins with a bouncy quick stepping bass beat on the synthesiser which is quickly dressed by even faster drumming. As amplitudes increase and pressures rise, the sludgy quality of the synth bass is turned up while the drums begin a quick march, continually filled by inner breaks.
Spooky and extra-terrestrial sounding tones make the intro for the new number. Frantik enters with an industrial yet space-age retro sound that when given the right drums creates a deep dancing atmosphere. Sonic samples of distorted voice sprinkled here and there give a flavour of the organic while tone shifting and effects push the music from one side to the other. Non-complex yet full of listenable elements, the track billows in digital winds propelled by bass and resonant tones.
Along with catchy 303 Diaries, the entire record fits nicely in dancehall repertoires and in home collections alike. We can enjoy the album as it is or find ways of mixing it in with other things. Surely many DJs can't wait to get their hands on a copy of this funky and atmospheric blast from the digital past. Although made today with the technology at hand, it tips the hat many times in the direction of the early pioneers who fiddled with analogue oscillators and looping drum machines to make their new sounding music.
Listen to I Just on this video, from earlier in 2018.
Rowan Blair Colver for the Homunculus Media Group
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