BROKEN BEATS IN REVERSE: Just out digitally this week is the latest from Londoner precocious mouse (Caleb Wood), the second full-length since 2010 entitled Virginia Creeper. Opening with PGC/032673, this is deep and atmospheric, the heady and granular stuff that aural dreams are made of. I’m excited as this introduction to the artist’s work brings back some latter 90’s drone meets microsound with all its sweet faultlines, and wavy signatures. Harkening to Kim Cascone, Christophe Charles and Markus Popp with ease. Though this is far more ‘live’ sounding, as if you are listening to a board recording from an installation space – the din/echo implying four walls. With the masked thump on askant(procedure) pt.1 + pt.2 the beat is like a tribal salute.
GOT IMPROV?: Wood illuminates this thump into something of a hiss-laden feedback loop as part two rolls along, a bit like a late night foghorn. His tiny static antics are indelible, refined. The blocky punctuation, intermittent with this fussy feedback makes for a serious deep listening experience that at first may seem repetitive, but it just as your consciousness starts to wander, it grows on you with slight shifting crackling static, stunted and drawn. The deep-seated lows burrow recalling Philip Glass’ masterpiece Koyaanisqatsi (1983). There are simple transitions, but within each track, the cycle takes its sweet time to evolve, limiting your state of consciousness a while, the only awkward blip is the minute long transit which stops abruptly, breaking the flow.
OOH THE SCRATCH IS MAKING ME GLITCH: The near twenty-five minute long title track is silky and elusive and I highly recommend headphone listening for this record as the highs and lows will circle your ears. And though this may send you into a bit of a dream-state, you will very likely be fighting that off to sense all of this record’s intricate peculiarities. The sci-fi reverberations are delicate but its also balanced with harsher added tone-test layers that meander into caution zones. Midway through this delivers a click-track faster beat that sounds like fiery Zydeco spoons with a dimensional Krautrock-like finish. It blends many styles, and remains original. The double dagger of MRK/1216 brings blurpy wave synths, delivering an alarm call with tricky static pulse beats that remain assymetrically opposed to techno, but tease the birth of such impulses. This is a self-contained sleeper.