• Slag Boom Van Loon - So Soon

    Reviewed by Freq1c (freq.org)

    Slag Boom Van Loon - So Soon

    Slag Boom Van Loon is the silly yet memorable collaborative name adopted by Speedy J and Mike Paradinas (µ-Ziq), and So Soon is their remix album (the vinyl edition gets an extra track as a bonus incentive by the way). The record is topped and tailed by Boards Of Canada's "Poppy Seed" in Ambient cycles through warmth and tickling electro phase-pulses which warble in fine soaring style. Threads of melody make a strangely old-fashioned Hippyish fluting and arpeggiated tripping sounds; the beats are Dubby-Funky, the mood decidedly relaxed, in soapy form.

    µ-Ziq himself does things with a big bass rumble - "Spc-ch-pn" turns on small coins to make its stabs of bleep and glitch uncoil in oddly Pole-ish manner. As Stefan Betke is on board too with "Casual", there's a neat comparison to be made with the Dub filter man himself; the actual Pole mix really does sound just like one of his own tracks at first, lush with trickling electronic stuff. The curve of this piece is slow and increments the level of dusty hiss and pop into a calmly-controlled uncurled rush of echospace mellowness, with those trademark whips of concentrated delay snapping up the attention for all they're worth. The decay into muted bleeps is very nice too, and prefaces the rather massive Dub outbreak from Matmos. Their "Moon Base Alpha" shows they can do weird things to a Reggae bassline quite as well as their sampladelic House shananigans, with vocal snatches, spine-shivering pink noise and the disembodied electronics wafting around the basic vibraphone twitterings. Oh, and it gets Funky too.

    Then there's Coil; the arch-psychonauts have a track called "Fallen Angels Entering Pandemonium" frazzled over with keyboard shivers held for lenghty durations while the bass undertow makes a deep, singleminded throb below like shipboard engines. The track wriggles with atonal samples and somehow pizzicato processing, dredging up an atmosphere suitably on the paranoid
    side. Shrill clicking rhythms and threats of marimba mania pull disturbances into the foreground, making an uncomfortably tingly listen take matters into less than wholesome dimensions. Elsewhere, Leafcutter John has more lighthearted approach - or so it seems at first as the sounds of crows happily cawing get stoned with shattering glass samples making disjointed beats and off-key tones. "Broccoli" is a churnsome little number, odd rhythms piled on top of footsteps, children and traffic, echoed door slams and heavy objects apparently being being dragged through the sampler. It's always nice when producers bring the outdoors into electronics, and this track is defintitely one to scratch the head to.

    Further deracinations take the stage in Tipper's "Butch", wherein samples become grist to the four-dimensional scramble towards bass and swirling chimes; did someone mention Autechre? Not exactly, but in the same general field; nothing can be taken for granted too long, as the basskick beats swathe everything in mammoth rhythms. This one is akin to the glitchy
    equivalent of a hand-in-the-air (and fall over) stormer. Four Tet does his thing to "Sutedja", which involves running the closed-hat break and swimming keyboard through a chunk of echo, rewind and the odd spot of drop-down trickery to the accompaniment of a melodica. Groovy's probably the best adjective to apply here. As for Horse Opera, their track is one of the
    more minimal to be found on So Soon, contrasting shimmery electronic swoons with swatches of snicker and bleep, vinyl-slash rips and warnings of rattlesnakes nearby.

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