Originally submitted for Clash magazine, these are the unedited originals.
… riding intellectual thunderstorms and dampened reverb
4 out of 5
After wordplay with the track titles, a Diogenes quote reveals itself: ‘The art of being a slave is to rule one’s master’, and if slaves made IDM techno and found sound, it would have this flavour. The dark, moody atmospherics are etched with spoken word, drones, and clicky, clappy spasms of rhythm; genre-wise, you can call it dub-techno, IDM, experimental, electronica, but the LP is intended to work as a whole unit. Notables include ‘Bein’, great for fans of Sandwell District’s ‘Hunting Lodge’, and the Deep Chord-esque ‘Lav’, like hearing jittery electro through a drywall. This is thinking cap rather than dancing shoes music.
Three similar artists: Deep Chord, Inigo Kennedy, Isodyne
Release Date: 4th March 2011
Agaric - Who Made Up The Rules (Ovum Recordings)
…put simply, really enjoyable
4 out of 5
Kicking off in good fashion with abrasive deep techno reminiscent of Truss’ ‘Obstaten’, ‘Star Core’ clears a path for ‘Who Made Up the Rules’, a bouncy and weirded-out track that actually compelled me to get up and dance. It just gets better, dancing with Chicago, Detroit, Swedish, Berlin and UK techno styles with increasing sub-bass intensity and highlights like ‘Métro’, akin to a muted samba being trodden underfoot by LFO snares and a killer bassline, and ’No Way I Know I Feel’ exploiting addictive gravelly vocals. I was even excited by the ‘secret’ track - a mighty drone of sound - like music for dying superheros.
Three similar artists: Truss, Patrik Skoog, LFO
Release Date: 7th March 2011
Round Table Knights - Say What?! (Made to Play)
… taking sub-genres of house full circle
3 out of 5
The Round Table Knights take an un-medieval journey through varying angles of deep, minimal, and discofied house for Jesse Rose’s label, cutting with hip-hop and interlacing with leftfield piano, horn flirtations and jazz skits & scats, for a warming sound. Similar to the upbeat fare of DJs like Mr Scruff; it mixes up handbag house with Detroit stabs on ’Old Fashioned’ and contrasts with ‘Say What ft Ogris Debris’, a funky electro piece with a male Grace Jones, and high points like ‘Paparussi’s space-disco. Sometimes it gets cheesy, but catchy, like the bizarre ‘Cut To The Top’, sounding like the Butthole Surfers doing Riva Starr.
Three similar artists: Moodyman, Mr Scruff, Samim.
Release Date. February 28th 2011