"An arbitrary succession of more or less irritating sounds"

Saturday, 26 February 2011

New Skin for the Old Apparatus

Noone knows who Old Apparatus is/are, but that, along with the weirdo imagery, seems to have helped. These days, in ‘underground’ (how quaint) ‘dance’ (loosely) music circles, it seems it’s not who you know, it’s who is unknown (see Burial, Traversable Wormhole, to name but two more recent). If you want to go through the whole cloud of unknowing again, there’s a whole lotta guessing going on at Dubstepforum, with various candidates being bandied about. Anyway, not wanting to dwell with an overly jaundiced eye, purpose here is to highlight an unknown artist(s) release by Dubstep roots imprint, Deep Medi Musik, owned by Digital Mystikz man, Mala. Without so much as a London Rootsmen Go Doomstep Shock headline, their 20-minute promo mix and vinyl-only appeared early this year, sounding far from Medi's in-house style - except for recent deeper space emissions from V.I.V.E.K and Benny Ill (dig that name!). Huge open spaces with scant club visions, Roots aesthetic eschewed, the vinyl (now also available in flac) has an A and B of viscid and hard ambient-industrial and bass-scapes, parts deciding space is the place, and staying beatless, but more sections bringing in caustic percussive percs, applying low-end theory beyond standard half-step skip and bass wobble orthodoxy. Those seeking reference coordinates might look beyond the step to darkside eclecticists Demdike Stare - if they stepped things up, or Raime - if they roused themselves from vaguely maleficent torpor (pssst! Bits even sound like IDM-tastic Chris Clark).

There’s a deal of doom and noise nuggets here to get you musing. Their future’s so bruit, you gotta wear more than shades – it’s all pillar drills!

Yep, it’s mytholo-geed up by some pretty Out-there artwork/imagery by a guy called Gerbil tea. Now, those less open to the seduction of the Uncanny may simply sit unmoved, asking “why have they got pillar drills as heads?” Still it'd be hard to be unmoved by the sound of Old Apparatus:

OA-001 by Old apparatus

A boomkat scribe takes time out from the blather about the latest glowfi-spaghetti-psych-hop sensation from Anglesey recorded on a Woolworths dictaphone or whatever/wherever to script something salient: “…exploring a darkside realm of post-dubstep noise-sculpting/sound design posited somewhere in the midst of Chasing Voices, Burial and old-style Vex'd. Nobody bar the label knows who's behind it, but that only amplifies its enigmatic aura. The A-side builds from a squall of distortion into cataclysmic bassline worship sounding like Stephen O'Malley jamming with Mala while insectoid percussion etches skeletal surface patterns and the rhythm unfolds like something from the Anstam archives. The B-side is weirder still, a multi-sided geometric construction unstably morphing from ecstatic dubstep noise to Raime-like halfstep industrial dystopia, with an added welt of blackened distortion.” That ought to do it.

Downloadable promo mix and various viewables at the Old Apparatus site. Esoteric an’ ting!

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