Short Circuits 11 - By Volume

I'm afraid of heaven because I can't stand the height. I'm afraid of you because I can't be left behind. St. Vincent - Regret

Short Circuits 11

Flawless dismounts? Ex-LOL Boys? Programming day jobs? Sounds like Short Circuits 11. Author: on November 20, 2013
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Kassem MosseSTOSW (meandyou, 2013)

Oh, this is a tease. Manchester-based clubnight meandyou provide some tangibility for those of us unfortunate to miss out on their events, showcasing the raw substance in the kind of acts they book with The Palace EP. Kassem Mosse himself has been a huge part of Workshop Records as well as contributing to Boddika’s in-form Nonplus imprint, always leaving thumbprints of his mechanistic, impactful and driving sound on records. On “STOSW”, he digs deeper and deeper as if to say there is initially a harder edge to the tune, one that seems set to dive headfirst into reckless techno at any moment. Instead, Kassem Mosse holds things back — not tauntingly, nor disappointingly, but so very enticingly. It’s that otherworldly sweep of sound around the two-minute mark that does it, left to shimmer above the hi-hats with the grace of a gymnast’s flawless dismount when it first appears. The bassline seems to increase in relative importance as the track progresses, and Kassem Mosse’s deftness is revealed on “STOSW” more so than his other productions.

Jerome LOLAlways ft. Sara Z (Friends of Friends, 2014)

The first thing anyone familiar with the ex-LOL Boy’s work will notice is that “Always” sounds pretty much as would be expected of Jerome LOL — certainly if you use the irresistible “Changes” as a reference point. As such, there’s an unshakably slight irony in the lyrics, “It could be different every time / that’s why we keep on trying.” The vocal comes from surfacing US musician Sara Z, who sings with more than a mere nod to Amy Winehouse, though a little sweeter. This bodes well for work over Jerome LOL’s candy-coated jazz electronica, and while there’s no new ground explored here, “Always” serves as an apt treat for those with a sweet ear. It’s greatest moment comes after the climax, with an outro of reverb-heavy vocals over bleeps and bloops and a cymbal rush too. The drum breakdown after the first minute also conjures a smile. “Always” lands on Jerome LOL’s Deleted/Fool four-track EP early in the new year on Friends of Friends.

ObjektAgnes Demise (Objekt, 2013)

T.J. Hertz takes care when it comes to releasing as Objekt. Part of the sparseness in his discography is down to his time-consuming day job programming for Native Instruments (which perhaps goes some way to explain his music’s vivacity), though Hertz also comes across as one who is only willing to release that which is ready. True to the artist’s reputation, “Agnes Demise” is a calculated, Brutalist affair that brandishes unwieldy percussion like a chain mace. The track is more than simply computer-bred, as glitchy inflections pierce the already-imbalanced techno until the music effectively reboots itself around the mid-way point. Its duality of seeming so controlled yet so irregular makes for interesting potentials in terms of experimenting with the track in a set, though the overpowering influence of the first beats in each bar are more than enough to do some damage as it stands. “Agnes Demise” is accompanied by “Fishbone” on Hertz’s personal label, along with several locked groove deviations to further multiply the possibilities.

Ayinla OmowuraObinrin Koyi Kuro Nle Oko (Konsti Remix) (unreleased, 2013)

Subtlety and diplomacy may be the best tactic, but blasting the door wide open is often the most self-gratifying and fun. Konsti’s remix kicks off with the big room manifesto no holds barred, stomping through brash bass into chopped African folk percussion. The track only ever slows down to give way to the echoing vocal chants, serving to add to the flurry of audible inundation. The mixdown quickly makes way for the climax and by then there’s so much primal sound it all but paralyses the limbs in astonishment.Certainly in recent times, DJs have turned to the African continent for exotic highlights to woo and wow with, though the strength of Konsti’s remix lies in its championing of the original track, rather than endorsing it as a gimmick.

Ghost Mutt3310 (Donky Pitch, 2013)

With a track name such as “3310”, one expects something nostalgia-ridden, and a certain apprehension with regards to rose-tinted glasses accompanies the feeling. The most immediately striking feature of the song is the sample use, namely snippets of Dot Rotten, as made famous by Wen’s incredible Commotion EP earlier this year — it’s a daring move on the surface, yet it feels completely natural as Ghost Mutt’s Matt Mcloughlin takes the track off into a completely different direction. An uneasy start quickly shoots off into circa-2009 Hudson Mohawke territory, dazzling the ears with a colourful, glistening pallette. It’s the range of the sampling (a Missy Elliot line from “Touch It (Remix)” and a squeaky toy, seemingly) that stretches the impact, disorientating though somehow finding its own entertaining groove. “3310” appears on Donky Pitch, a label co-founded by Mcloughlin and birthed synth-side of bass/hip-hop, and is just about unfamiliar enough to impress.

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