Adam X, Bill Kouligas and Ekoplekz will be appearing at the inaugural Local Authority event at London’s Rhythm Factory this Saturday, and we have a pair of tickets to give away.
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Some 12 months after releasing Intrusive Incidentalz Vol 1 for Punch Drunk, the endlessly prolific Ekoplekz will return to the Bristol label with another album, snappily entitled Intrusive Incidentalz Vol 2.
There’s been no denying of the rapid and rambunctious rise of Ekoplekz, as in two years he has leapt from noted blogger to celebrated sound terrorist by all and sundry (who might have shunned his abrasive analogue ruminations mere months before). His Discogs page strains under the weight of his output in a way that would reflect someone who has been making music as long as he has (operating since 1988 it would seem), but there’s barely a dot on the official release radar before 2010. Read the rest of this entry »
Sometimes, the popularity of certain music can be a mystifying thing. Whether it be dull-as-dishwater production line fodder or the most testing of avant-garde weirdness, there’s just no accounting for what will make people tick. In the case of Ekoplekz, since his first emergence as Punch Drunk’s twentieth release, it’s been remarkable to observe the ascent he has made through numerous rapid-fire releases, noteworthy gigs and a sizable chunk of favourable press. Even the most ardent fan would find it hard to deny that his music is intentionally obtuse, eschewing formal patterns of rhythmic construction and melodic content in favour of abstract textural compositions with a strong leaning towards the terrifying.
Gathering momentum behind a wealth of adventurous, atmospheric experiments with contemporary electronic music, the West Country-based Young Echo collective present perhaps the clearest continuation of the Bristol sound in present times. Centred around their most recent radio show, Oli Warwick went to catch up with the production crew to dig deep into their perspective on what matters in dance and non-dance music, and to try and make sense of their myriad projects.
It’s refreshing when the glut of over-familiar music gets blasted away by a starkly original voice in the cramped township of electronic music. It’s fair to say that the level playing field of the 21st century has given rise to a fair few stand out voices; a pleasant reminder of why the so-called democratisation of music can be a truly positive thing. Enter then Chairman Kato, fresh out of the blocks this year with just one digital-only release to his name prior to this EP, the aptly named Science & Romance. The overall feeling exuded by Kato’s music marries a weighty amount of sound manipulation to heartfelt artistic expression, both technologically adept and emotionally rich at the same time.
A quick point of reference might be Actress, who similarly uses the traditions of techno as a springboard for stranger things, although Kato stops short of getting quite so oblique in his outlook. “Pressure Differential”, for example, really kicks underneath the thick, squidgy layer of fuzz, tone and grainy noise, while the lead synth still manages to press its features through the murk to create a discernible outline. “Unspoken” provides a case in point of how Kato manages to combat his avant-garde tendencies with a rock solid funk, maximising on the off-beat in the same way Floating Points does. All the while the bed of noise proffers up mournful tones to ensure the Romance part of the EP is still well catered for.
If the original material is strange enough, then the next logical step is to draft in someone of Ekoplekz’s ilk to really go to town. His own analogue punk aesthetic compliments Kato’s approach perfectly, and the resulting dubby nightmare sounds like a natural continuation of the original track that came before it. After all that murky mess, Andres’ aptly titled Detroit soul rework comes off bright and breezy, although that might not be the case in a different context. Still, the rough, dusty beats fall with ample room around them, and the woozy fuzz gets reined into a dreamy loop that leaves your palette perfectly cleansed after all that sonic jiggery pokery.