I’m not sure what I’m mostly surprised, impressed or excited for – my new discovery of Rob Clouth and his newest three-track Clockwork Atom EP on Leisure System, or my discovery of the label itself. With only eleven releases behind its belt, this independent Berlin-based Berghain residency imprint entered the scene in 2011 with a 12″ by Pixelord, followed by another favorite, Eprom and an extremely delicious release by Tim Exile – you absolutely have to get his Harmuni EP (2013), it’s a must! Now on to the sounds by Barcelona based Clouth, who also records as Vaetxh, Dr:oid and Ither. The title track is an immediate winner, sounding like Clark, Jon Hopkins, and Hecq entered the arena and left Autechre to judge for the outcome. The sounds are crisp, tight and warm, layered with atmospherics, melodies and bass. The rhythm is twisted, but structured and taut. Oozing with intelligent design, the eighteen-minute record is incredibly taunting with such a short taste, teasing for all the things to come from this amazing producer, forcing to play on repeat until such future time. Besides the latest, you should also check out releases by JETS (that’s Jimmy Edgar and Travis Stewart, Kronos, and Dopplereffekt on the label!
Do you remember the artist 2methylBulbe1ol? I almost forgot about Nicolas Druoton myself, until this French producer resurfaced on Ad Noiseam with a shortened alias. In my last review of Golem (OverClockHeadz, 2012), I compared 2Methyl’s “toughest, roughest, and deepest IDM-meets-dubstep” to that of DJ Hidden merged with The Teknoist and Mobthrow, all of whom, of course, have already appeared on the label. So it only makes sense that Nicolas Chevreux picks up this 3-track (plus a remix by The Sect) 12″ for the latest Ad Noiseam release. On the EP we are once again accosted with DSP-heavy punishing rhythms, approaching that dark d’n’b territory (I think I even hear the staple snare from Noël Wessels on ‘Lazarus’). The mischievous and dingy atmospherics are ripped open by digitally sharpened percussion, raw cutting bass, and a cacophony of complex, granular, and fractal synthesis. “Somber and driven, high-tech and mature, these tracks bring a new freshness and depth to a style which focuses too often on efficiency only.” Highly recommended for fans of the above, and a must for all Ad Noiseam catalog hoarders – and that of course includes yours truly.
Nomen may only host three tracks, but it surely packs a punch among its sludge paced, atmospheric and glitch framed architecture. This aesthetic is not particularly surprising, since most of my favorite saw-tooth jaw-dropping IDM has come lately from Enig’matik, an Australian label scouring the earth for the next evolution in sound. Clockvice, an 18-year old producer from Sweden [gulp!], offers another excursion into a digital mayhem, thrust through a blanket of thick sonic textures, then ripped out and dropped into a pool of bass. The result is an intricate structure, heavy in process and rich in design. “Clockvice has been carefully sculpting a toolkit of reverb drenched contemporary electronica, culminating in a tasteful contrast of classical elements fused with an impressive foray of granular percussional undulations and spatial sound design techniques.” I won’t deny that the production is pretty impressive for an artist of his age, and if you feel the sway of masochism in your own inadequacy I recommend you give Nomen a spin. Hold on to your jaw. Check out the rest of the roster!
Known Rebel is a duo from Ibiza, Spain, comprised of Germán Escandell and Jaime Irles, who first got my attention back in 2011, with their debut full-length, Hollow, out on Tympanik Audio. The Ocelo EP hosts three atmospheric pieces (plus a remix), showcasing the evolution of their sound. These are cinematic soundscapes for deep forests, morning hikes and summer gatherings, punctuated by tight thumping bass, memorable melodies and downtempo rhythms. Affected vocals (think post-Burial future-garage ghostly loops) swirl in the smoky air rising above the campfires, lakes and cavernous drops. The previously mentioned remix by Delete, lends a darker path along the journey, offering deeper bass, sighs, and post-everything-in-bass-music beats. The Rotterdam (Holland) based Mindtrick Records features this digital release along the roster of its usual suspects like Mobthrow, Semiomime, Tangent, Enk and Atiq (the label very own founder) – and definitely worth your time in exploration [you can find most of the catalog on bandcamp]. For fans of Roel Funcken, Access To Arasaka, Hecq, r.roo and pretty much everything on Tympanik.
Words by HC