June News Polysick, Kuedo, Rudi Zygadlo, Konx-Om-Pax
Posted by: Thomas on Jun 12, 2012
Two years ago Planet Mu released the debut album by Rudi Zygadlo, ' 'Great Western Laymen'', a record that anticipated the current mix of dubstep with vocal songs, an idea that has subsequently become established practice. Back then Rudi’s dense productions may have seemed a little ahead of the curve since when Rudi has been perfecting and refining his work without losing it's beauty and quirks, honing his skills with impressive live shows across Europe and working hard on his new music.
' 'Melopomene'''' is a ballad of astonishing quality. Named after a Greek Muse and taken from his forthcoming album 'Tragicomedies', it sees his vision in full flight. The song works a wonderful alchemy with acoustic instrumentation and dramatic suture-like edits with a gauzy side-compressed production, over which a tempered tale of love lost unravels among Rudi’s fragile harmonies. The track builds to a middle passage, as piano and accordion duel with a beautiful grace in an almost neo-classical passage before the penny drops on the outro and the sadness hinted at before dramatically plays out in the song's chorus.
'Arrows' on the B-side, plays out a near-death scenario over tense, repetitive synth stabs with claps, melody and harmonies that recall Frank Zappa’s acid doo-wop, before the track breaks and fades out with the strains of a nervous string quartet.
' 'Melopomene'' is just a taste from Rudi Zygadlo's forthcoming album 'Tragicomedies' and it has already had airplay on Radio 1 and comes with an utterly gorgeous video by respected photographer and artist Nick Rutter.
After last year’s very popular and widely acclaimed album 'Severant', Kuedo returns on 25th June with this emotionally epic, dancefloor detonator of a track from the same sessions.
' 'Work, Live & Sleep In Collapsing Space 'starts with huge symphonic synths, half-speed kicks, trap style hi-hats rushes and flammed 808 snares, slowly building up with giant whooshes of gaseous noise before breaking out into an intense trancey moroderesque synth that totally fills the track, making it sound absolutely vast and a little bit frightening, running it through effects to give it an aggressive, spacey rush that takes your breath away.
It’s the sort of track that connects his past to the newer music he made on 'Severant'with a fierce emotive grace and intense power. This will absolutely destroy dancefloors and headphones alike.
US artist Laurel Halo takes the track apart, adding sutured strings and bubbling sounds inside a pressurised dub space, before dropping a gorgeous, bittersweet melody into the space that’s left. It’s an appropriate reimagining of the title, almost aching and groaning under its own pressure.
Claude Speeed re-imagines the track as a beatless evocation of space, building graceful warm strings into a vision of symphonic beauty before the whole track coalesces into building trancey bass synths over racing live drums, mirroring the original track but taking it in a totally different but equally breathtaking direction.
This coming Monday (18/6/12) sees the debut album by 'Polysick' on Planet Mu.
Rome’s Egisto Sopor has been making little waves with his releases for quite a while now. Since we’ve known him he’s released a cdr album on Legowelt’s Strange Life Records and put a cassette out on the much admired 100% Silk label, both under the name 'Polysick'. As 'TheAwayTeam' he's released a DVD 'Relax & Sleep' and a cd 'Star Kinship' on Japanese label Moamoo. He is also one half of the low key video unit AAVV, whose work has graced many of the important releases of new lofi electronic movement.
Well, here is his first album proper 'Digital Native' , 15 tracks of glowing, nocturnal, analogue grace that hark back to acid house and early techno, but with a mood and intent that seems to be designed for watching images dance on closed eyelids. It’s no surprise that his work as a video artist resonates so strongly with the music he makes.
Polysick says of his approach, "When i make music I always have a visual part in mind. In this case, many of the tracks have been influenced by visions of tribal nocturnal mysterious explorations like in 'Preda' which is the italian word for "quarry". I tried to convey a sense of mystery and danger with those swirling flutes and the timpani rolls too, like if you were in the middle of a jungle, in a deep dark night and you're running away through the trees, haunted, like in some of those old zombie splatter movies from the 80’s.. same with 'Tic-Tac Toe', with that clock ticking and the deep bass..."
Polysick has tapped straight into the synthetic pleasures of early dance music's otherworldly pulses, the hypnotic arpeggios of Italo disco, soaring Detroit chords, cosmic disco, the '4th World' music of Jon Hassell and the library exotics of Piero Umiliani. This is body music for the resting body, Imagine a nexus between early acid house and Italo music being used for mental therapy, exotic travelling and imagining, exciting the brain waves and journeying into imagined spaces. 'Digital Native' is set in this imagined line of enquiry.
You might be familiar with Konx-om-Pax previous work without already being aware of it. His real name is Tom Scholefield, he’s from Glasgow and as a 3D film director and graphic artist he’s made videos for locals Hudson Mohawke and Mogwai as well as Martyn, Jamie Lidell, Kuedo and Lone, sleeve artwork for Oneohtrix Point Never, Rustie, King Midas Sound and others plus he has toured with Mogwai as a DJ.
So how on earth does he find the time to make music, or the energy?
Tom explains that he makes music to chill out, a form of creative self medication. In contrast to his bright, synthetic and colourful artwork and videos, his music is more mossy and analogue. Often beatless, personal and located in a transporting surrealism, it's sometimes inspired by the idea of rescoring films and TV. 'Glacier Mountain Descent' for instance is a reimagining of the start of Werner Herzog’s 'Aguirre'. Other times they’re inspired by nostalgia for childhood feelings; watery immersion is a running theme and a sense of Scottish surrealism is another.
Tom started out making tracks as a teen, copying the synth lines he’d heard on prog house CDs, before graduating to a deep fascination with Jeff Mills and Drexciya’s hermetic imagery and alien funk after hearing them on John Peel’s show. This led him to creating lo-fi techno, then DJing and promoting events at artschool, which developed his knowledge, driving him to formulate an aesthetic of unpolished, textured and emotive music.
'Regional Surrealism'works largely like a film. Vignettes like 'Isotonic Pool' transition into larger more dramatic pieces like the deep 'At Home With Mum and Dad' which takes an early Aphex sounding ambient track and fills it with odd drama. 'Sura-Tura-Gnosi-Cosi' featuring mysterious US artist Steven Retchard is full of tape-hiss and unsettling spoken word, while 'Zang-Tumb' with guitar played by Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite works in bruised and twisted Ash-Ra Tempel territory. Elsewhere 'Slootering' finds a sweet spot between Drexciya and Oneohtrix Point Never, while 'Lagoon Leisure' lets you get lost in musique concrete space and drops. Later on 'Hurt Face' rubs static and raw electronic textures together and 'Chambers' follows it up with a sunny glow. The album finishes on the water-themed 'Let’s Go Swimming' which indulges in a slow-motion nostalgia, sending you away happy.
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