Sunday 5 September 2021

Trip Report

I am back with a sit-rep on what I actually got around to getting on Bandcamp Friday. No massive changes in plans this time though, I did end up subbing out the Arpanet LP for some other stuff though, as well as getting the ADULT. EP thingy I talked about last time but didn't actually post about. Let's get stuck in.
M.C. Escher - Blocks of Basalt along the Sea (1919)

First major change was I decided to listen to a couple of other LNS releases just to feel them out, I ended up on her latest LNS-id first of all - the pun in the title is stretching it a bit, but as it suggests, this is much more Acid flavoured than the track from Recons One I used last time. I do like Acid, but I don't have a right lot of it in my archives, I feel like it's one of those genres that can suffer from being quite same-y in its execution (but admittedly, I haven't gone too deep into the genre so take that with two handfuls of salt). Most of my Acid comes from Squarepusher's brother's project Ceephax Acid Crew, his work tends to be quite creative in the boundaries of Acid and as you might have guessed from some of those album covers, often very much embracing the sillier side of things. I thought that maybe this one might be the same, what with the massive Acid smiley over LNS' frog logo on the cover and all.

So with that in mind, I wasn't really sure what exactly to expect going into this one - would it be some tongue-in-cheek Acid? A straight up tribute to the style that fully embraces all the clichés like Luke Vibert's Luke Vibert Presents UK Garave Vol. 1 maybe? Not quite as it turns out, the opening Blue Acid grabbed my attention straight away with its ambient techy vibes, the frantic 303 that you might expect for an Acid track is very subdued at first and it gives the whole thing this very different feel than I've ever encountered in the world of Acid before. LNS nails the production side of things here too, just when I find myself thinking that it needs a little something to spice it up, something that changed up the formula would drop right in. I can understand the 303 being repetitive to some, and there are some times where I feel it too - I'd have liked that ambience lurking in the background to have more time to shine like it does around the 4:10 mark - but overall I'm very into it, even if the EP has given me 200% of my recommended dose of 303 for the next few weeks.

Turning around in terms of sound with a bit from that ADULT. EP I brought up last time. One thing I love about about ADULT. is that they are doing a fantastic job of making most of their discography available on Bandcamp, including things that were super rare before. The extremely on brand titled Let's Feel Bad Together EP was previously a Beatport exclusive - but you could also get an 'Official Bootleg' CD of it from their website that they would sign with a little personal message for you too. It's from 2008, so just after the release of the nihilistic and intense punk of Why Bother? - though that LP would sometimes leave the electronics behind, Let's Feel... is very much in the vein of ADULT. releases of old.

It waxes and wanes though, tracks like Dance Avoid feel more like their Resuscitation-era sound and shares some DNA with the album immediately after this The Way Things Fall, whereas album closer Sideways feels much more like the fidgety anxiety of Why Bother>. There's not a dull moment on this EP, each of the four tracks are pretty relentless and don't let up until the timer runs out. They feel a little less fleshed out than the mainline album tracks or even some of their other EPs, but I don't want to make out like that's a negative - it makes everything here feel like the 'best of' of an extended jam session or even some live improv.

This is most easily spotted in Nicola's vocals, there aren't really verses to speak of here so much as her playing around with the titles of the songs, most obviously on Dance Avoid with lines like 'Dance avoid, dance avoid, dancing in a void', but again that just plays into what I mentioned above, and even if the content is much more simple than usual, her trademark delivery does an amazing job of matching that Punky atmosphere. I've picked both Today and Dance Avoid here because I think the two show off the two 'moods' of the EP really well (and because Avoid came on as I was typing and I fell in love with the intro all over again).

I also got around to getting the other two thirds of the Evoked Potentials series from E.R.P. (AKA Gerard Hanson or Convextion). They're super small and bite sized at two tracks each, I feel like the label could have compiled them into one, especially considering the original vinyl releases were limited to a couple hundred copies but hey ho. About the tracks themselves though - E.R.P. has fast become one of my favourites over the past year or so, the brand of hi-tech electro slash techno released under the name just really appeals to me in the same way all the early 90's Artificial Intelligence series from Warp does. I know that's a comparison I trot out all the time when talking about this kind of sound but it's more apt than usual this time, parts of the Evoked Potentials series sound a hell of a lot like the stuff B12 was (and continues to) make.

And you'll find yourself among good company if you're into this style of electro - Discogs recommends stuff like Drexciya, The Other People Place and early Underground Resistance - that's especially true here, of all the E.R.P. I've posted so far, Repose most certainly feels more in line with that kind of style. I just adore the spacey vibes on this one, it's very easy to get lost in - the stripped back ambient turn in the last quarter is just divine. It's not quite dethroned the Alsoran EP as my favourite release from him (But there is some bias there as it was the first thing I'd heard as well), but I will happily snap up more of this sound whenever I find it. My only complaint is a very nit-picky one: for some reason there's a good chunk of silence on the end of this one, it ends at around 6:40 for reference.

And that'll do it for this time. I'm a little late on this one because I took an easy day off yesterday because I was feeling a little sick, but that actually gave me time to listen and hash out some thoughts on these picks so it wasn't *too* bad I suppose. I'll be back soon enough with more but until then - as always, stay safe and enjoy the music.


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