Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Actress - Splazsh (2010) / T++ - Wireless (2010)

Sorry it's been a while, had college graduation and a bunch of crap to deal with. Anyway, two electronic releases that caught my attention recently are being released on the same label, Honest Jon's (Damon Albarn's), this month in the US on vinyl. They are Actress's Splazsh album and T++ 's Wireless EP.

Actress - Hubble (2010) by m.r.t
Actress - Wrong Potion (2010) by m.r.t

Darren Cunningham runs the Werk disc label which for years has offered space for the more adventurous of dub-step/dub techno artists including Lukid, Disrupt, Zomby, Lone, Starkey, and Cloaks. Many of these artists have specialized in crafting singularly unique sounds and styles branching off from dub-step, while retaining the groove and dance aesthetic often left out of more academic experimental electronic music; basically it's a label full of really interesting, forward thinking dance/electronic musicians. Despite not releasing Splazsh on Werk, Actress has not left these aesthetics out of his own work. Under his Actress alias, Cunningham creates a mix of dub techno, wonky filtered through lo-fi effects, cut up samples, four on the floor pulses, warped funk, and minimal techno that refreshingly betrays the usual funk/side-chained hip-hop beat sounds present in so many Dub-Step/Wonky/LA Beat scene releases by using these elements in a creatively imaginative fashion.

T++ - Anyi (2010) by m.r.t

T++ is Torsten Pröfrock who runs the label DIN and has many pseudonyms, many of which have gathered attention for having been on the Chain Reaction label. Under the name Various Artists he released a 12" and a CD on Chain Reaction, and under the names Resilent and Erosion he released only one 12" for both aliases also on Chain Reaction. Pröfrock also joined Robert Henke on Monolake's Cinemascope and Polygon Cities albums as well as the Axis Carbon EP. T++ is one of his latest project names of the last couple of years, and the name implies his more dub-step leaning tastes. Although, calling the double vinyl, four track Wireless release dub-step is misleading. The four tracks were crafted mainly out of samples from 70 year old recordings of Ssekinomu, a famous East African singer and Ndingidi player. The results are a high energy, poly-rhythmic amalgamation of dub-step, jungle, 2-step, 80s dancehall, dub, and minimal house. The tracks start off running and never really stop. The whole effect gives the impression of what I would imagine speeding through a bustling African City in a car would feel like, while only being able to comprehend and make sense of the blurred trail left behind. If you are interested in challenging dance music that is one step removed from the cliches of the current underground dance culture then these two releases are up your alley.

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