Short Circuits 23 - By Volume

Understand that I am only as he made me: a faithful servant to all of the noise, all of the lights, all of the flashing in my head. Laura Stevenson - Wheel

Short Circuits 23

23. 23? 23! Fresh on its way to 30, it’s another Short Circuits! Featuring Beatrice Dillon, Call Super, Paul White + more.

Author: on August 27, 2014
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Call SuperSulu Sekou (Houndstooth, 2014)

Joe Seaton’s having a pretty fantastic 2014 as far as releases are concerned, cranking out Depicta / Acephale II as Call Super and the Coup D’Etat EP for The Trilogy Tapes as Ondo Fudd. Both records are very effective exhibitions of the liquid-crystal techno Seaton can construct so well, but Suzi Ecto is to be his first foray into the full-length format. The album keeps consistent with the level of excitement and finesse expressed in his previous records, though if I had to pick a particular moment of brilliance it’d be “Sulu Sekou”, and it just so happens that the track is being put out as a single. There’s a tranquil bed of organic-feeling synths looping over sashaying percussion, making nice for the listener before seasoning the the soup with a Turkish woodwind aria. Seaton paints techno’s own Ghibli-esque picture of dazzling watercolours on “Sulu Sekou”, an elusively familiar yet gentle exotic movement that gladly shows off how much fun Seaton is having with his compositions.

Beatrice DillonCarrier and Mask (Where To Now?, 2014)

Beatrice Dillon’s Resonance FM spot has been one of my favourite things to tune into this year (with guests including the aforementioned Call Super), dancing between any expectations and unearthing avant and club gems, laced with a smattering of Dillon’s own productions. Where To Now? will be putting out a whole tape’s worth of her stuff, with “Carrier and Mask” doing plenty to garner interest. Imagine the tables full of bric-a-brac at charity stores, everything from loose screws to cutlery and kitchenware. Now imagine building a house out of them from scratch — that’s what seems to be happening on “Carrier and Mask”, with sounds that bear no relation to each other yet somehow go together and match accordingly thanks to Dillon’s arrangement. Muffled kicks and hollow percussion encircle around each other as the synth stabs and ghostly murmurs colour between the beats. It’s hard to keep the ears on one thing as seemingly random pings and twangs fire off like a broken Bop It, and yet the whole thing somehow makes sense as a head-bopping, dubby number.

Bluntman DeejayAstat (Real) (All Caps, 2014)

“Astat” is the kind of irresistible track that will coax the outliers into the middle of the dance and make those already there grin and enthusiastically approve with an out-loud exclamation of, “Yes!” It’s the kind of track that will work wonders as a transition in a set but also begs to be given breathing space, lingering in the innate rhythm long after fading from the ears. Propped up with a tribal-edged beat of clapping sticks rolling kicks, the xylophone loop ticks over restrained bass and when Bluntman lets it off the leash you can really feel it. Disparate keys and percussive motifs are thrown in with a brief vocal shuffle and a breakdown of coughs, amounting up to a subtly delightful, richly-textured experience that beckons the body. “Astat” is as much a showcase of skill as it is a victory lap for Bluntman. in a year where this sound’s fans are snowballing thanks to the efforts released on Mood Hut, All Caps, Going Good and others.

RandomerResidents (L.I.E.S., 2014)

I know, I know, another mention of L.I.E.S. on Short Circuits. There are few excuses too, seeing as we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to listening to Randomer; recent months have seen him release on L.I.E.S., Clone and Russian Torrent Versions in the wake of last year’s Hemlock and Turbo records. The Russian Torrent Versions EP is positively worthy of praise though its heavy impact techno has a serious face on throughout, whereas “Residents” actually made me chuckle in appreciation. It’s percussion driven, its beat drunkenly swaying and swinging left and right, stumbling and tumbling onwards into reckless abandon. Ramadanman’s old tunes stand out as the nearest landmark on the map (the two have shared labels and spots on compilations before) as the off-kilter club track that doesn’t exactly embody L.I.E.S. canon. Even when it attempts to sober up with a mournful, fuzzy synth breakdown, any potential for a moment of clarity is swiftly whisked away by those punchy drums. You might need a moment to find your feet afterwards.

Paul WhiteWhere You Gonna Go? (R&S, 2014)

Contrasting Paul White and Disclosure isn’t something I thought I’d be sat here doing, yet here we are. It’s been a fair while since we’ve heard new material from Jamie Woon himself, though around a year ago he guested on Disclosure’s album of Sainsbury’s sandwich-filler garage, Settle. Their stale production on “January” could only be redeemed by a strong vocal lead, yet Woon only endeavoured to match them for blandness. Fast-forward a year and Woon’s supplying additional vocals to Paul White’s singing (alongside Sarah Williams White and Jitwam Sinha). But what vocals they are! Woon’s hums and croons saunter their way into “Where You Gonna Go?” beautifully, with hints of wistfulness and delicacy before the other voices join his cries. Later it’s as if he’s scatting and feeling his way through the track blindly, resonating with the rustic percussion naturally and perfectly. Really it all just goes to show how talented Paul White is at working with vocals as part of the other layers. It’s structured and paced marvellously, and White’s restraint helps the soulful elements thrive without overcrowding the space. Whether it’s hip-hop instrumentals and beats for Danny Brown or bluesy, worldlier movements, White can really hold a track together well and clearly isn’t afraid to shake up his formula – something which shouldn’t be taken for granted.

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