L5 by New Tendencies

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New Tendencies
L5 (Forking Paths Records; CS/DL)

Toronto’s Matt Nish-Lapidus is New Tendencies and the tape (in a short edition of only 40) begins with Start. Flared bleeps and electronic squiggles pervade the space as a crashing percussion enters and exits. It’s all coated, concealed as if you are listening to it from outside a dome. The album is chock-full with ten quirky tracks like Trust, using spare parts as beats. It’s an abstract array of challenging tonal ranges scored with industrial edged percussive elements. The constant play with objects, as on Practice, does not make for perfect, in fact, quite the opposite. It’s the imperfectly atonal skew that lays at the core of this unique album of rough hewn gems. For instance, on Point he’s cordoning a raw open circuit that becomes a second generation of what once was microsound, here amped up, with a bit of a dubby atmosphere.

Christopher van Doorn

RUMBLE + HUM: Midway through the record is the track Various Purposes which has a slowed down pace, chugging away on its beat like clockwork. What comes off as the trudging of footsteps in sand, embedded in its layers are subtle effects that are sly and sleek. The pulsing Barycenter is off-putting at first, though once the aqueous percussion starts the whole thing congeals into a gorgeous, albeit too short, listen. Wise sounds like an active construction site sans protective headgear. It’s more ‘classic noise’ than elsewhere, but knows best to reduce the clamor part way in. He’s building a beast of a record here, and allows transparency for the listener to hear the cracks and crevices of the process. Nish-Lapidus is creating elemental sound blocks to build on the elemental, at times quite raw.

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The whole thing will be available from Bandcamp on July 13, and it comes highly recommended. As we approach the final two tracks the lengthiest cut, Different Object, starts to bring the previous collected chaos down a few notches. It’s dotted with a small drum beat and twisted low-range electronics that are wavy and filtered. The sense of the sound ‘wave’ appears throughout this record, without judgement via its bright yellow cover with it’s minimal arc. This sweet track has a lot of potential for alternate remixes, and extended versions if he were to consider anything close to a single here. Though this also avoids going into more straight commercial territory as it’s delicate and moody surface keeps to itself. In the end we come to Stop, which makes sense after beginning with Start. This uptempo piece is two or three chords, braided in repetition, shifting midway through for a tension break. It’s an odd choice as a conclusion, more like a track lost in limbo. But like any good cliffhanger, it leaves you wanting for more.

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