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.


1 comment:

alex said...

Nice Review, this is such a good album.

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