Basalt by Carsten Boer/Precocious Mouse

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Carsten Boer/Precocious Mouse | Basalt
threadneedle community (DL)

DIG THIS!: Basalt is a split record by Precocious Mouse and Carsten Boer, each contributing two live session tracks of differing experimental and glitchtech styles. There is a physical release associated for the first twenty who purchase the digital file via Bandcamp. Though the recording is sequenced intermittently between artists I am going to listen to each artist’s tracks separately.

Starting with the lead track by Precocious Mouse (Caleb Wood), Root opens as if we are situated deep inside the annals of a cave, the bass low reverb, almost tribal. This percussive effect slightly shifts in density throughout, and it throws a heavy atmosphere that is both rugged and embracing. It’s as if you are on an expedition winding through ancient passages. Wood then takes you into a far more minimal space, at first, with Compression Fold, a track that uses a divided and multiplied tone with bpms that are split in two. This is as fresh as it gets when it comes to abstract minimal techno in the latter Teens. It’s broken down and built back up with a crusty edge and a somewhat pronounced burnt-out bass line that is axiomatically slow-moving. The glitch is real, as are the chirpy artifacts that result from such exploration. The dragging sensibility could become daunting and a bit repetitive but somehow he manages to trim up certain edges and move forward, keeping the listener on this off-beaten path. Overall the piece is wrought with a sense of angular, organic sounds that break with new math for a more soulful connection with the savage nature.

Carsten Boer on the other hand (or ear), kickstarts his proceedings with the lapping Drift. From the soft burr come a wiggling entanglement of stunted minimal beats. Also earthy in nature, his work here seems to compete with modern sonics, in a way that showcases the dynamics between man and machine. His composition is calculated, very much from the ilk of micro-electronica you think you might expect, but, he throws you a curve ball when he drops the beat, suddenly the listener is hearing only a shadow of what he’s built up. It’s an acoustic mirage, until he revs things up some, but still managing to keep the thump and circumstance to its subtle origins. Yet Boer is smart to allow the percussive ends to rotate away at their own pace, creating an atmosphere rife with tribalism. On Fault Line he opens with a steely drone broken with spare change arcade beats that are animated brightly. Action vs. Atmosphere and each has a fair footing. The pitter-patter style with accentuated flash effects dial-in the unexpected, but the industrial drone looms large and in the distance. The pulse of the trigger finger is itchy and nervous.

An inventive and exciting record.

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