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Friday, 10 June 2011

SubVersion Stop 129: Format Umbra

Three unusual formats here: the CD-R, painstakingly designed vinyl and single-sided cassette, all sold through digital channels without the ability to buy digital direct from label. U-Cover has foraged a trawler of underwater Ambient in its limited run history, whereby TDD readers should recall a favourite of mine: Quosp's "Soundscapes" LPs. Ex Confusion's compositions on "Something To Remember", like an estranged couple's last word, dispel into the wild silence around you before you can dwell on their structure and interpersonal idiosyncracy. "Prologue (Before We Begin)" almost sounds as Helios would if he was tied to a chair, forced to write an essay on the benefits of asymmetrical repetition. It's brightest torchbearer stylewise, and notions of vignette versus suite, imply production time for Ex Confusion having the same agenda, but nuanced to suit his narrative. All better for the price that interchangeable tendency plays on drone's relationship with logic, focus and mood discrepancy.

Which is a questionable proposition for the Weevil Neighhbourhood listener. Operating via the Weevil Orchestra label - WO have issued three series of leftfield Electronica, a collectors edition - now, the second Weevil Neightbourhood brainchild, codenamed "Blindfold", also arrives as a name, not a number. The label concept signifies this - to have the catalogue instalments acting as part of a neighbourhood: places, scenes and actors, as opposed to standardised scales and developments. Hitherto this unknown artist, the collector's edition coming on dirty black to clear vinyl, has an apt double-barrelled title: "All Those Colours / We Cannot See". Transparency plays ultimatum mistress when it comes to beats labelled underground. Can we taste fervent liquor from rave's noughties dismemberment, or is there utopia on this horizon to weave your mind and soles? Gladly "All Those Colours" unites the tribal progression of Shackelton with the fussy programming precision of Geiom, while B side "We Cannot See" deflates the minimal neurofunk subgenre of Drum & Bass and takes it down, also, to dubstep tempo; Joey Beltram's mentasm dotting in like a leaking oil tanker from techstep's burgeoning heyday.

Weevil's previous tape outing, coded "Picnic" is by Felix of Repetition/Distract. Titled "Old Weevil Neighbourhood"; noticeably different from these two offerings on first hearing. A polysemous embryo of musique concrete, light chordal bass with a hibernation timbre played against filling-up-a-glass-of-juice click and scrape backing. Compared to Ex Confusion the textures are harsher, more pronounced in combined sonics as opposed to langurous drone overcompensation. Envisage Bibio on a bad hair day, slumped under the covers of his fluffy duvet, slowly coming to terms with downsides of engineered solitariness. Affinitively, Felix's work originally documented the whereabouts of his invisible cat, which is an accurate metaphor, also, for his Plainaudio and No Type post-rock - toing and froing between rest and activity, like the inquisitive advert misomner he's indirectly associated the RD lineage. Also recommended: "Halogen Breathing Lungs" from "Peripheral Geometries EP".

These three reviewed instalments distinguish their aesthetic in a convincing triplet: to listen is to appreciate you'll take chances; to take chances is appreciated listening; and appreciated listening enables you, from the records' respective outlets, to look at space for physical and take chances on ordering them.

Ex Confusion - Something To Remember: Purchase
Old Weevil Neightbourhood - Blindfold: Purchase
Old Weevil Neighbourhood - Picnic: Purchase

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