Monday, 29 June 2009

The Village Orchestra – I Can Hear The Sirens Singing Again [Highpoint Lowlife]

Have you ever watched a film turned all the sound off and put your own music on top and thought to yourself ‘wow this is really cool’ well TVO took this to the next logical step. Being a bit of a whiz on the buttons he decided to make his own soundtrack to a Japanese telly program that he got into and just couldn’t shake. The program is a surreal detective style thriller of sorts called, ‘MDP Psycho’ and not only did this inspire TVO to make a soundtrack of his own for it, but also perform it at a live screening too. Now I have no clue about what the show is like at all so can’t judge it against that, but the thing is you really don’t need to too enjoy this piece of work it stands alone as an ambient voyage through sound.

I Can Hear The Sirens Singing Again shows another side to The Village Orchestra’s work, there are no deep dance floor techno beats here. All that is stripped back in favour of glitches, loops, pads and atmosphere. It’s one long trip to the dark side with a brooding melancholy. A sound collage of found sounds and recordings are intertwined with deep and low bass and drones, along with clips and glitches. There isn’t too much in the way of straightforward melody and blessed out moments here, it’s an eyes down late night piece.

Even if you haven’t seen the film that goes along with the sound, which is probably a lot of people going by how niche Japanese TV is over here, you start to make up a plot all of your own as you listen. You hear snippets of a phone ring as a disturbing atmosphere builds and you wonder what the conversation could have been. Backwards sung melody’s float by in a blissful fashion and you wonder if a beautiful girl just walked by. Sounds of some sort of subterranean chemistry lab bubble bellow the surface before drones of insect noises and droning pads take over. All of this paints pictures in your minds eye of a movie that only exists in the listeners’ head.

As a stand alone piece it works a treat TVO has created a dense and interesting ambient soundscape full of drama and darkness. It really is a journey through sound and space, a narrative can be seen all the way through as there are so many different sections with only small themes being repeated every now and again, it’s a story. The Village Orchestra shows a mediational side to his artistry putting the beats aside for the moment and concentrating on capturing a story instead of the dance floor.

The Village Orchestra – I Can Hear The Sirens Singing Again

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention…

I listen to way more music than I end up writing about and these albums caught my ear for good or bad over the last year or so yet I never got round to exploring them on here. Some of the music is pure brilliance and others well… left me a little cold after spiking my interest, but I tried to show a little balance instead of just hating.

Pantha Du Prince – This Bliss [Dial]
I came late to this guy after seeing his name all over the place a few years ago and never getting round to checking him out, but my got This Bliss is just that, bliss… Deep driving and mesmerizing dance music; underwater melodies with a warm, pulsing comforting edge, its like a musical larva lamp.

Eero Johannes – Eero Johannes [Planet Mu]
Easily up there in my albums of the year top ten at the end of last year, yet I still didn’t get round to writing about it. This is Skweee, the 8-bit funk hybrid from Scandinavia if you don’t know, at its very best. Toy town chip tune funk played through bent synths with a massive sense of fun, you can play it over and over and it brings a smile.

Of Montreal – Skeletal Lamping [Polyvinyl]
Either: brilliant and flamboyant or an annoying indie version of Scissor Sisters depending on my mood. Not quite as funny or musically accomplished as Flight of the Concords but there are so many ideas in here that it’s almost interesting almost by default and I think that’s what brings me back to it more often than not. It’s the inventive cut’n’paste song writing and dark humour that reminds me of a musical Naked Lunch but executed with a really light twee sunshine edge instead of full on darkness, quirky.

Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion [Domino]
The artwork is so fucking cool on this one but something about the music left me a little cold. Indies great hopes for the year made an interesting yet slightly mundane album somehow. Its almost as if I want to like it more than I do, the swirling psychedelic sounds and ideas are right up my street yet its still a miss. I can’t get enough of Brother Sport though that is a killer track.

The Horrors – Primary Colours [XL Recordings]
Interesting band with promise but they seem to in debt to their influences to me, I mean embarrassingly so. The album plods and drags yet shows the band can play and appeal to the wider audience. When/if they grow out of their influences they really will be ones to look out for.

Giggs – Walk In Da Park [Spare No1]
Road Rap king pin with a slow-mo monotone flow, he is so laid back that it all nearly goes past in one single dull drone yet when he pulls it off he makes some compelling stuff. The beats are sparse and slow in debt to the US gangsta/Dr. Dre template but with a really dirty and raw UK vibe. There are some killer tracks on here if your in the mood for some lyrics on coke, clubs, cash and guns executed with a dead eyed stare.

D.O.K. – Document Chapter 1 [Flash]
Pumping and bumping grime instrumentals, half the time they sound like big brash jacking bassline monsters and the rest of the time like P-Funk played on Fruity Loops at 140bpm. It’s raw, uncompromising and full of dancefloor hype. You get a grime re-fix of Timberland and Bros all on one CD what more could you want?

Deerhunter – Weird Era Cont. [4AD & Kranky]
This is the bonus disc/extra album that came with the fantastic Microcastle from last year. It’s a sprawling mass of ideas from the prolific band. It continues where the album on the flip left off, all be it in not such a concise narrative, its raw and freewheeling in comparison not unlike the live shows. There are some amazing tracks ‘Backspace Century’ and ‘Operation’ for starters are up there with the best of Deerhunter.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Hair Traffic Control – Let’s Do Lunch

The UK has a habit of throwing up some really good math inspired, quick fire guitar wielding indie bands you know like This Town Needs Guns, Meet Me In St. Louis and even Dananananaykroyd. Labels like Holy Roar and Big Scary Monsters have been dropping this stuff for some time now and there has always been plenty of smaller bands around doing good things, I mean just go a check out Pennines, Tubelord and now Hair Traffic Control. They all vaguely have this slightly manic, melodic style of guitar playing; throwing out jagged twisting tapped out shapes that echo hardcore, math, post-rock and good old indie pop all at once.

Let’s Do Lunch is a brand new EP from unsigned three-piece Hair Traffic Control, it’s four tracks of melodic techy indie with a slightly heavy edge. ‘The Hobo Gauntlet’ kicks off the EP in rapid-fire style with tapped out arpeggio guitar melodies and jazzy drum motifs, it’s got a nice energy to it these guys can rock. On track two the beat-boxing intro that uses the title ‘Boots and Cats’ as a percussive device is a nice touch, its also one of the EP’s highlights. The poppy, melodic and even dramatic side of HTC comes through here, they really build from melodic to a full on energy rush.

The instrumental track ‘These Are The Dogs In My Life Part 2’ is another cracker and carries on the energy from the last track really well. There is a strange thrashed out Balkan skank vibe to it somehow, it makes me want to put on a poncho and dance. There is something about parts of ‘The Last Man Irkutsk’ that reminds me of a spaced out Weezer I think it’s the melody that does it but they add a lot more in the way of freaked out post-rock soundscape and twisting turning sections to the track, its just the hook that gives off that vibe and it works a treat.

Hair Traffic Control are a quality band that should be booked on bills and listened to with ears.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Whizz Kid – The Yellow and Blue [Bearsuit Records]

Whizz Kid is a brand new collaboration between J-Kane aka Pornophonik and singer Yo Yo Nielsen, this is their debut four track EP working together. An album is already in the works too so this is a taster of what’s to come. Whizz Kid makes an interesting blend of dreamy funk fuelled breakbeat and smokey electronica that sounds like it came from the back of beyond.

Summer Bubbles kicks off The Yellow and Blue, with spooky piano before the breaks set in and add a little funk to the proceedings as tinkles of shimmering electronics play sunshine melodies. The title track takes things a lot darker and adds vocals to the proceedings, the deep gravely voice of Yo Yo brings a slightly disturbing feel to the other worldly synth and string samples. The break beat gets darker this time too, with tight punch hits.

Some Kind of Temporary almost verges on Big Beat in its rhythm section but not quite its just good solid breaks chopped and screwed into dance floor shapes while a halftime string/orchestral melody plays above. The EP starts with sunshine in Summer Bubbles and ends with a chill, Snow Burning is another vocal cut with an ambient dreamy flavour underpinned by breakbeats, this is probably the most hypnotic of the tracks, the piano and xylophone melodies that go along with the mellow gravely vocals give a melocholic and ghostly vibe.

The Yellow and Blue EP by Whizz Kid is an interesting and compelling piece of work from the fledgling project of J-Kane and Yo Yo Nielsen. A taster of things to come and the spooky breakbeat meets smokey vocal electronica. If you’re a fan of people like Lemon Jelly or maybe even the dark side of Mr Scruff then Whizz Kid is well worth a look.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Few Nolder – New Folder [Planet Mu]

It’s not often you get your hands on some electronica from Lithuania but then Planet Mu are always throwing out surprises. Few Nolder is the project of Linus Strockis and this is his debut album New Folder. His sound is hard to pin down in some respects; it’s a hybrid of off-centre, hypnotic glitch riddled house music and techno with a slightly progressive disco edge. There are vocal tracks featuring the voice of Nolder’s talented local singer Rut, but most of the time its space age wonked out house that’s so dreamy it creates a whole world of its own.

New Folder opens, ‘No Mo’ drops out. This track was released last yeah on Mu and starts the album in a way it means to go on, lilting drums based vaguely on house rhythms but really knocked off point into a sideways groove build until even stranger synths take over that are chopped and screwed into strange shapes of sound to create some truly hypnotic grooves. There is a distinctly Euro-House vibe at play here with arpeggios and filters a plenty but its done in such a subtle almost lo-fi way that it doesn’t ever reach into the cheesy end of that market.

It’s a truly compelling album that you can drift in and out of, there is a real laid back mesmerizing feel to the way Strockis plays with sound, grooves get looped and dubbed out until they become almost psychedelic in nature. It’s a colourful album that hardly goes of course from its strange otherworldly template. Tracks like ‘Pillow’, ‘Fluttery’ and ‘Top’ all have this feel but the latter almost has a hands in the air euphoric moment as the high ends are shaped into fuzzy dance floor builds, the floot loops of ‘Chika’ are another highlight that give off an air of Ibzia sunsets somehow. The vocal track ‘El Snig (Feat. Rut)’ is in what I presume to be Lithuanian but it still has a strange nu-disco soulful feel to it. Everything almost feels so simple until you get deeper into the tracks and you realise everything has been whipped into so many different shapes that come out the other end as these huge almost anthem-like house riffs.

Few Nolder makes a new and strange variation on house that will defiantly hit the right buttons for the more adventurous heads out there.

Hear Clips: Few Nolder – New Folder [Planet Mu]

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Melt! @ Fibbers, York. 19th June 2009

A brand new club night at Fibbers in York has asked me to come and play out for them and you know what it will be my pleasure.

Melt! Named after a cut from Flying Lotus’ last album Los Angeles, is an eclectic night as you can see from the random genres coming out of the massive ear on the flyer. I’ll be representing the dubstep, w---y (are we aloud to call it wonky yet?) and funky end of the spectrum.

If you don’t know what wonky or funky is, which is understandable as wonky isn’t even a genre as such (see
here) and as grime kid Wiley so eloquently put it in a recent diss track to Skepta, "I've got your throat lumpy, you're stuck in London like funky" you can see that the mutant strain of house hasn’t really reached York yet, so I’ll aim to show it off a bit and most of all get you dancing.

Other DJ’s on the bill include The Haus DJ’s who tore up the first Melt! and other nights at Fibbers including a Scratch Perverts support slot and many a night in Leeds, who play techno, electro, minimal and all that good stuff.

Come along to soak up the vibes, have some reasonably priced drinks, party with your mates and dance.

Haus DJ’s Facebook Group

Melt! Facebook Group

Tuesday, 16 June 2009


More from the semi-regular rumedge through the record bag series, of stuff I didn’t get to review/missed, over at SR as we didn’t get promos or other such excuses. For upfront reviews, interviews mixes and more visit Sonic Router, but for now check out these beauties.

Silkie Feat. Mizz Beats – Purple Love [Deep Medi]
Purple in vibes and colour on a super limited platter, funked up slab of future soul with some of the most swung beats and vibrant bass around.

King Midas Sound – Dub Heavy - Hearts and Ghosts [Hyperdub]
Dark and dubby, ghostly sound system shakers. They will shake your teeth and send you in a trance, doom fuelled taster of forthcoming album.

Hyetal – The Last Time We Spoke/Amour [Formant]
Long awaited platter from Bristol new boy, A-Side pushes a dub techno vibe with digi-siren effects and melodic chords. Amour gets steppy with an ear for melody and a way with bass, deadly.

Emvee – Glitch Dub/Nocturnal [Wireblock]
Broken funky with a soca groove, fuzzy bass and infectious midi soul. Glitch Dub does things dirty and Nocturnal brings the boogie this will make you move.

Pinch & Moving Ninja/Peverelist – False Flag/Junction (Shed Mix) [Tectonic]
Latest Tectonic Plate 12” with main man Pinch on a half stepping dark as hell weighty collaboration as Shed turns Peverelist into a garage infused nugget of techno with a euphoric sadness.

Rossi B & Luca/EL-B– Jah No Dead/Son De Cali [Soul Motive]
Garage legends line up for Soul Motive’s 4th, Rossi B & Luca bring dark dubby 2-step, it sounds huge and so fresh. EL-B takes it breaky with a deep and soulful garage vibe that oozes quality.

All out now

Sunday, 14 June 2009

F – Epilogue / Epilogue (Ramadanman Rerub) [7even]

Another 12” from France’s premier techno infused dubstep label 7even, this time not only featuring long time contributor and all round badman F but also sometime French resident and Hessle Audio co-owner Ramadanman. This is the ninth release so far for 7even and the third by F and let me tell you they haven’t missed a single step.

The original is a deeper than deep mood piece with a 4x4 pulse and subtle pads that gently build over loops that sound like a tiny machine wiring into life. It’s got the ambiance and delicacy of Kompact’s GAS in the way the elements flow. It’s a beautiful track made for late in the night, in-fact so late that the sun is just starting to appear on the horizon. Simply sublime…

Ramadanman’s Rerub on the flip takes all the elements of the original and shakes it up for the dance floor, but Rama being Rama and turning his hand to many style from D’n’B to techno and funky has made this into a tech house meets funky jam, with grate results. He takes away some of the deepness in favour of swing and energy, by tweaking some of the elements that were buried deep in the original and throwing them out front and putting it to an almighty soca / house beat.

This is one solid plate from F, Ramadanman and 7even. Each side does something truly different from sublime deepness to bumping tetchiness, it’s a match made in 7even.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Milanese – Lockout [Planet Mu]

Rough ready and raw bass businesses from San Francisco’s Milanese, streetwise vocal excursions meet dub wise dancehall in a techno style on this his second album Lockout on Planet Mu. Versions and remixes rub shoulders with original productions to make a heavy as hell album that’s ready for the dance floor with an almost militant street bass energy.

The tracks here are dark and hard-hitting and full of energy, the vocals from Ben Sharpa, RQM & Oliver Grimball give some of the tracks a slight hip-hop edge as do some of the use of samples, hell the Unique 3 remix even brings a R&B influence to the table, ‘Shake What Ya Moma Gave Ya (Milanese Remix)’ is even a version of a hip-hop track. You can hear the odd break and US influence infused into the UK bass sounds, which brings something different.

Tracks like ‘The End’ feature in different guises two by Milanese one original and one freaked out ‘Off Mix’ that flips the original a bit and come on rough and hard. But the real gem of the lot if Untold’s remix that takes a subtler look on things giving it a more organic smoother feel with plenty of trade mark touches like rhythmically deranged drums and mad bleeped out grooves.

Plenty of the basslines sound like they want to tear your arm off and run down the road with a manic grin on their faces; bass can have a face right? That’s where the bass face line is from yeah... This one is defiantly for the DJ’s with all the versions and remixes pretty much made for the mix; it will defiantly add some heavy ammunition to your bag that’s for sure.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

N-Type, Silkie & Quest, Iration Steppas, Gentleman’s Dub Club, Exodus @ Exodus Croatia Launch Party, Faversham Leeds. 9th June 2009

This was like a mini Sub Dub Vs. Exodus but not in the setting of the West Indian Centre and with a much smaller sound system, but at least they had a sound system as The Fav has always sounded so bad for every other gig / club night I’ve been to, the bass crew know where its at though and bring their own rigs. This was the launch party for Exodus Croatia the dubstep / dub festival that’s been going strong for a couple of years now and by the way this went off Croatia is going to be something else, quite literally as well I mean you just don’t get the sun / sand and boat parties in Leeds.

Spinning dub early on in the main room was Exodus, just playing some deep dubbed out vibes to a meandering crowd, it was sounding good. In the conservatory was another big rig playing those jungelist sounds, then right next to the main room was The Gimp aka a little freaky room playing some hardcore heavy artillery, chainsaw and laser guided gun finger dubstep; all of this combined made the windows of The Fav shake hard.

Gentleman’s Dub Club hit the stage in suits as a full on live dub band with MC, drums, horns and bass a plenty. I’ve heard about these guys before but never seen them, they really killed it and drew a big skank happy crowd. Plus they did full band live rewinds just like the DJ’s do; it really got the tension going for those meaty drops.

Into The Gimp for some face melters while Iration set up, and fuck me who ever was playing in there was reaching for the big guns: Dark’n’grimey full of wobble. The Kutz & Benga ‘I’ll Kut Ya’ was probably the only track I could ID to be honest, but what a track.

Iration Steppas in the main room were warming things up very nicely in their usually dub in the year 3000 style. The rig may be smaller than I’m use to hearing them on so there was no STUPIDLY HUGE push you over and leave you for dead bass pummelling, but it was defiantly big enough for a Tuesday night. Special after special via dubplate and special again got played, vibes built and bass dropped. I wish I knew what these tracks were they get me every time, the final track he played that got three wheels was something else. An almost four to the floor deep and loose beat built into an all mighty drop that got the crowd pogoing for the first time in the night.

Silkie & Quest hit the decks not long after and brought the boogie, skipping drums, soulful breakdowns and full on colourful funk fuelled bass really turned the night into a dance party. Playing a set of pretty much all their own productions as far as I could tell apart from one Joker & Ginz track, ‘Purple City’. This stuff sounded so effortlessly warm and danceable and in such contrast to the lil room playing hardcore ravestep it was brilliant. Pretty much everything I could have wished to hear was played and loads more I couldn’t quite place, ‘Purple Love’, ‘Headbut Da Deck’, ‘Test’, Silkie’s boogie drenched remix of Skream’s ‘Filth’ and Mr Larger’s vocal anthem ‘Tell Me’, ‘Edan’ which finished the set and jeeeeez it sounds HUGE. Silkie & Quest may well be some of my favourite producers around in dubstep at the moment and without a doubt they can do it in the dance.

After the relentless space funk of Silkie and Quest, they didn’t do a single rewind, all rollers all the way… N-Type came on and started to build things up with filthy bangers in his usual style. We had to roll not long after mind, it was getting late and it’s a long drive back. Killer night, quality music all round and easily one of the best nights I’ve had at The Faversham. I wish them all well in Croatia I bet it’s going to go off in epic style.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Sonic Router: Celebrate Clash Magazine Feature & Over 20k Readers

We over at the Sonic Router have not only reached over 20k readers in our short time online pushing the sounds that move us from bass scene but we just got a load of column inches in the newest edition of Clash Magazine (See large pic here) in a section called ‘Site-Seeing – Unearthing The Best Of The Internet’. To celebrate the 20k MLR our editor and all round badman put together a mix download it, check it the deranged picture and go read the blog.


1. Wollom – Serenade (CDR)
2. Joe – Rut (Hessle Audio)
3. Various Production feat. V.E.X. – Ramp (Various)
4. Gemmy – BT Tower (Planet Mu)
// s p a t i a l – 90121 (Infrasonics)
5. Joker & Ginz – Re Up (Kapsize)
6. 2562 – Embrace (3024)
7. Martyn – Vancouver (3024)
8. Ramadanman – Ofal (Soul Jazz)
9. Zomby – The Lie (Ramp)
10. Zomby – Aquafresh (Hyperdub)
11. Joker – Do It (Kapsize)
12. Kotchy – Check Out My Keychain (Civil Music)
13. Ramadanman – Blimey (Hessle Audio)
14. Pangaea – Bear Witness (Hotflush)
15. Cooly G – Love Dub (Hyperdub)
// Ital Tek – Octa (Planet Mu)
16. Phaelah – Isolate (Surface Tension)
17. Peverelist – Clunk Clip Every Trip (Punch Drunk)
// Toasty – The Knowledge [Untold Remix] – (Hotflush)

MLR – Celebrated Scenester Mix

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Missing in Action

I’m in deep with the bass scene I just can’t get enough of the stuff, I write upfront reviews for the Sonic Router and even put some words up here, yet a lot of stuff still slips through the net one way or another. So as a vinyl collecting bass head I thought I would do a mini round up (when I remember) in bite-sized chunks of things from my collection that should without a doubt be talked about, especially while I’m down to one deck and can’t make a mix.

Calibre – Dutty/Stolen Shadow [Deep Medi]
Deeply soulful 140bpm exploration from D’n’B head into acid tinged dubstep and garage with sublime results well worthy of the Deep Medi tag.

Slugabed – Gritsalt/Lets Go Swim [Ramp]
Off-kilter, Neon-Hip-Hop with 8-bit riddims that crunch & glow in all directions with a shit eating playful grin; like Wario on Rainbow Road.

Starkey – Miracles (Jamie Vex’d Remix)/Creature [Planet Mu]
J-Vex’d drop a euphoric sideways slanting high-pressure nuclear fallout version, as Starkey unleashes evil Creatures with a stampeding growl.

Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry vs. Kode 9 – Yellow Tongue [On U Sound]
Dubbed out variant on the Kode 9 funky sound, less smeary glow and a more spaced out hazy flow, devastating bass and skipping drums.

Untold – I Cant Stop This Feeling/Anaconda [Hessle Audio]
An energy rush of bleeped out minimalist future garage that you can’t stop! Backed with grime in clown shoes, eski played on toys and congas.

Kito – What If/Cold [Disfigured Dubz]
Deep & deadly dub styles with earth shattering bass and soulful vibes made for big rigs, strings and cut up vocals bring a melancholic edge.

I’ll try and keep these coming…

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Deerhunter – Rainwater Cassette Exchange EP [4 AD & Kranky]

A new EP by Deerhunter is always welcome round these parts and so soon after the fantastic Microcastle which even came with a bonus CD called Weired Era Cont. which was pretty much a whole new albums worth of material, is pretty good going even for a group of musicians this prolific. I managed to grab the tour only tape addition of Rainwater Cassete Exchange when they came round my neck of the woods recently, but the mp3’s are around to buy and the CD is on its way…

This is five tracks of brand new material and not unlike the Fluorescent Grey EP that came right after Crytograms could well show the development from the album before it to the next. It could well fit into the Microcastle scheme of things as it has a washed out retro girl group gone shoegaze feel to it much like a lot of that album yet it also stands out as something slightly different and maybe even more raw but that could be the tape hiss / quality giving me that vibe.

The biggest change in the sound is maybe the vocals, they seemed more buried in the mix compared to M-castle… the songs are also denser somehow. Title track Rainwater Cassette Exchange is probably the catchiest of the lot like a swamp rock rendition of a stax record drenched in reverb and raw gritty sounds, it easily stands up to a lot of other tracks by the band. The quick time shuffle of Disappearing Ink comes on like a fast My Bloody Valentine with less emphasis on noisy soundscapes and more on the tune it’s self. Side A is finished off with the super catchy Famous Last Words with a stomping driving rhythm and melodies that just sparkle.

On the B-side Game of Diamonds picks up where the others left off but with a more mellow feel, bongo like percussion meets acoustic guitars and piano before Bradford offers up some sweater vocal stylings to the raw deep in the mix efforts on the tracks before and after. Circulation sounds like a messy raw version of Nothing Ever Happens somehow with chopped up collages of speech and dense sounds it ends things in a woozy heat drenched fuzzed out bang.

The Rainwater Cassette Exchange EP is a quality addition to the growing Deerhunter back catalogue and shows a continuation and maybe even a slight development in sound from Microcastle / Weird Era Cont. We will have to wait and see what they come up with next I for one can’t wait.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Mordant Music – Picking O’er The Bones [Mordant Music]

A quality compilation of tracks old and new from Mordant Music and Shackleton, if you have been morning the passing of Skull Disco the label Shackleton ran with Appleblim until recently then Picking O’er The Bones is for you. The two labels have a vaguely similar aesthetic what with Shack releasing some of his first ever 12” there and MM making spooky dark techno.

This compilation brings together some early Shackleton work that you may well have heard on the Soundboy Punishments Skull Disco comp or assorted 12”s e.g. ‘Stalker’ & ‘I Want To Eat You’, but then some tracks your more than happy to have at least three times in your collection. Things soon get fresh from then on mind, with some quality MM productions that are worth the price alone.

MM’s ‘Hummdrumm’ takes a more overtly techno route to doom fuled darkness compared to Shack’s organic beat rollers, punchy bumping drums and hypnotic almost harpsichord like synths glide atop deeply physical bass before at all gets tweaked out. From then on things alternate between Shack and MM productions pretty much and the two even join forces to remix Vindicatrix. An undisputed highlight has to be Shackleton’s ‘El Din (Part One)’ with a deadly atmosphere with a sort of Arabian feel, like your lost in a desert, the bass in this is pretty damn terrifying and plays off the percussion beautifully but what else do you expect from Shack… the way he programs his drums is sublime those echo drenched claps and rolling disjointed tabblas and allsorts kill it, he often reminds me of a updated variation on Muslim Gauze.

The double MM header of ‘Olde Wobbly’ & ‘24 Million Or Sell Neverland’ comes on like broken techno from beyond the grave. The bassline in ‘Olde Wobbly’ descends and wobbles in a deeply deranged way, the driving arpeggio synths take things forward before being buried in the mix for some massive atmospheric pads to take over, then that bassline is back again wobbling its way through the bowls of the earth. ‘24 Million Or Sell Neverland’ may well be about Michael Jackson but who knows it’s a pounding lil number that builds and builds into a pretty epic techno track, probably the most overtly techno track on the comp so far.

The collaborative remix of Vindictrix’s ‘Private Place’ by Shackleton and Mordant Music is the centrepiece of Picking O’er… and shows of the common ground the artists share in full effect. It’s got the echo drenched haunting feel of Shack and the more techno infused edge of MM. It’s so deep and subtle that it feels like its from another world. It’s easy to get lost in the sound and drawn into a dark hypnotic groove. You can really see how the two remixes have tweaked and freaked out the original as it also features on the compilation, its kind of mad sleepy electro number with moaning vocals like what electro pop would sound like in another dimension.

‘The Hauntological Song’ by Mordant Music is another undisputed highlight that I have been battering on vinyl for some time now. The medieval gone space age harpsichord synth riff at the beginning really does it for me somehow before we drop into broken techno and some amazing otherworldly melodies. It’s a truly brilliant track.

The next three are unreleased previously dead tracks first of all is part two of Shack’s El Din, which is a lot subtler. The already mentioned mutated electro spook pop from another dimension Private Places and another MM number by the name of ‘Marston Moor’ which sounds a little like a spaced out to fuck punk record, I swear there are samples of fills and screams from someone a bit metal in here.

Picking O’er The Bones really does deliver and oozes quality; you just wont hear music like this in many other places Shackleton and Mordant Music are really ploughing a path of their own right now. If you want some deeply dark, deep and dank techno with a dub edge like no other then this really is for you.
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