Burial v The Bug (aka Flame 2)/exael/Kevin Richard Martin/Mr Water Wet/Pontiac Streator and Ulla Strauss
“Our own era is one haunted by the shadow of futurity, precisely because there is no future” – Eugene Thacker
When serendipity and synchronicity collide: there are times, wandering these ever-expansive rooms in this House Of Leaves, when my eternal search for the Navidson Record of legend is illuminated by a fleeting conceit that I may, one day, conceivably comprehend this endless quest. As I roam these never-ending corridors, I can find no evidence that this state of enlightenment has ever existed, for anyone, ever. I remain, to this day, as ultimately unsighted as Zampanò. Yet, in this very moment, I sense the merest glimpse of a golden thread, disappearing down a spiral staircase, in a darkened corner of the haunted ballroom.
Having been touched by ‘Solitude’, held in the vice-like grip of King Midas Sound earlier this calendar year, I found myself ensnared in the spider’s web of Bristol Sound recently, to witness the intestinal wobble of The Bug v Moor Mother at The Trinity. The gravity of bass on that night dwarfed the Archdrudian ‘brown noise of O’Malley‘, blocking the sunn 0))) from the sky, projecting, in its place, a single red light from stage left.
Listening intently, here at my desk, in the dying embers of this August day, I’m joining the dots: from Fisher to M.R. James; from 70s dub to Ossian concrete; from Felixstowe to Sutton Hoo; from Calanais to the Tate Modern; from Huerco S to Ghostride The Drift; from ‘Solitude’ to ‘Sirens’. Precariously placed: ‘On Vanishing Land’. Pondering profoundly, pretentiously, knowingly, absorbing variations in mediums, similarities in interpretation and tone. The wonderment that encroaches in these moments is the mystery that gives existence its meaning: “Radar. Send a few clicks into the unknown. See what comes back” – Mark Fisher
Digging in the crates as the nation burns, this month’s selections provide the soundtrack to this collapsing market. First up: back once again with their ill behaviour, The Bug and Burial return as Flame 2, with ‘Dive’/’Rain’ (Pressure). Renegade masters at the peak of their powers. ‘Dive’ bristles with low-key pathos and cinematic dread. ‘Rain’ falls harder, with sub-bass swelling exponentially beneath the scree:
D. Tiffany issues more “degraded and corrupted club tools for the adventurous DJ”, in the form of the second release on her XPQ? imprint: exael – ‘dioxippe’ (XPQ?). Following that OUTSTANDING Ghostride The Drift twelve earlier this year, ‘dioxippe’ duly delivers six-tracks recorded in Chicago between 2014 and 2016 by Naemi, presented here under the exael moniker. Scintillating stuff from one of the finest labels on the planet. Two twelves in, already buy-on-sight:
Kevin Richard Martin‘s ‘Sirens’ (Room40) has come late to my table, I’m not going to lie to you. As outlined above, on my return from Bristol that weekend, I needed something deep and meaningful as a memento of that gargantuan live experience. ‘Sirens’ fits that bill, documenting, as it does, Martin’s challenging journey into the world of parenthood, and, more specifically, his child’s difficult entry into this realm:
Mister Water Wet‘s ‘Bought The Farm’ (West Mineral Ltd) was a much anticipated release around these parts. As recounted last month, I grabbed my copy under difficult wifi conditions in Kirkwall, on the Isle Of Orkney, my first listen coming courtesy of the puny speakers of my MacBook. Needless to say, I’ve spent many high-fidelity-happy-hours with this record at maximum volume in the meantime, and it’s yet another spectacular release from this most excellent label. Brian Leeds can seemingly do no wrong. ‘Bought The Farm’ ably encapsulates everything that makes West Mineral Ltd such an exciting proposition. It’s refreshing to see the student paying tribute to the teacher. Paulo Freire would doubtless approve. Following four essential releases (five, if you include the bblisss compilation) in 2018, I’m expecting at least a couple of further gems before the end of play:
The label’s second release of the year arrived just a few weeks later, in the form of Pontiac Streator and Ulla Straus‘ ’11 Items’ (West Mineral Ltd). Following the brevity of last year’s ‘Chat’ (West Mineral Ltd), ’11 Items’ unpacks the potential in purposeful prose, over an hour’s worth of unbridled invention. Deliciously erotic, cheekily playful, consciousness-expanding in its psychedelic potency, this is music with a THC content north of 24%:
A slightly abridged column this month after last month’s epic travels, admittedly. Apologies if you’ve been left wanting more. We’re off to Berlin on further adventures in a few days time, more of which next month. In the meantime, we’ll leave you with one of the best documentaries yet on the evolution of dance music here in the UK: