Wednesday, December 10, 2008

archive fever (nuum division) [not so slight return]

ZOMBY, Where Were U in '92?
Ghost flickers of Incs Holy Ghost and Bizarre flit through this loving pastiche, but most of all the album sounds like it's made out of, or inside, a handful of crucial 2 Bad Mice tunes--as though Zomby's hollowing out a catacomb-like labyrinth within the template (retriggered breaks, muddy sub-low, reverb-y pianos, chipmunk soul)forged on "Bombscare", "Waremouse", "Drum Trip II," "Music Takes You," an entire underworld of passed-over-too-quickly-at-the-time possibilities. Music takes you right back: only a certain bass-weight sluggishness betrays that this actually emanates from a post-dubstep universe.

NEIL LANDSTRUMM, lord for £39
Excellent--the bendy-twisty groove-involutions recall Schematic's Phoenicia at their most inventive--but for some reason the original ravestepper's new one hasn't quite gripped me as fiercely as last year's Restaurant of the Assassins, perhaps because (to its credit, I spose) it less frequently plays the memory-rush card.

THE PRODIGY, Invaders Must Die
The Prodge return as their own tribute band, with an absolutely pummeling set--ten songs in a little over forty minutes--that splits the difference between Experience and Fat of the Land and nearly splits your cranium in the process.

HARMONIC 313, When Machines Exceed Human Intelligence
The Nuumological aspect gets more tenuous with this new project from Mark Pritchard, although it avowedly draws equal inspiration from Detroit techno (hence the 313) and what Mark P calls "UK bass music", "a common thread that runs through UK dance music in attitude to bass and rhythm as heard in jungle, broken beat, dub step, house and garage". "UK bass music" eh? Why not just say... Nuum? Then again, there's actually not much evidence that this music's been made by ears acquainted with Bizzy B or Bump n'Flex or any of the several incarnations of S.Gurley and C.Mac; what it sounds like is a set of missing links between bleep, gloomcore and dubstep: dank ambiences, gloopy textures, subdued grooves, trudging beats. "Galag-A" could be a great lost Boards of Canada tune and it's not the only time the IDM true colours shine through. It's on Warp, after all.

Even more tenuous--his previous one was described to me as "ravey" which I could see but on this due-in-March new one there's little evidence that the guy is nuum-aware let alone nuum-reverent. And yet on first listen the notion did spring unforcedly into my mind that parts of it sound like a cross between Hyper-On Experience circa "Imajicka"/"Assention"
and Steve Reich's Music for 18 Musicians. The euphoria-whooshing serotonin-overload atmosphere recalls both The Avalanches and that not-really-a-genre-but-definitely-a-mood thing that encompasses The Octopus Project, Los Campesinos,They Came From the Stars I Saw Them, Islands and a number of other glad-all-over combos, a shared sensibility that for some reason I connect with The Flaming Lips (thousands of balloons onstage, etc) even though there's probably no real influence-link or sonic commonality whatsoever.