Coatic Plates by Coatic Sequence

Coatic Sequence | Coatic Plates
Fractal Meat (CS/DL)

Coatic Sequence, a Manchester-based collaborative a/v duo of Darren Adcock and Tasha Whittle has just released Coatic Plates on the experimental imprint Fractal Meat. To create their tape the two built their own modular synthesizer that they lovingly refer to as Glen. Somehow the way in which they created this instrument also enables it to produce drawings through its sonic vibration. The impact is broken into six tracks, that feel something between a theremin and an old wooden rollercoaster amplified as it runs over the soldered tracks below.

The teeny blips and cycled percussion are not as much beats as they are practical (quasi industrial even). But the longer you listen the more hypnotic these little quirky sounds become. You start to imagine a horse trotting into the foreground as wobbly lasers become transmissions from an alien source. It would seem the duo is playing with open frequency currents, taming their bent energies, flickering almost organically.

These recordings were made during a residency at Islington Mill in Salford in Summer 2018: an investigation into the countless ways Glen can be utilized and the multiple ways sounds and visuals can be produced.” True that, but some of the results are fairly poker-faced and at times flat as a pancake. I was hoping for something out of the Roxy Paine playbook, but instead the modulations are more like generators left to their own devices, between fluttering and low-rise staring into space at times. For what it’s worth, this will definitely appeal to those who have enjoyed work by Richard Chartier, Bernhard Günter, Francisco López or others dealing in microscopic granular synthesis, though Coatic Sequence tends to be a bit less cerebral.

In the final tracks the aspect of ‘play’ increases some, yet still holds to the most minimalist of standards, which is to its credit. Divots are left behind, in the form of hiss and squelch, dropped like marbles to a thin layer of residual wind floating past. The concept of magic, sleight of hand, comes to mind. All in all there is a raw sensibility to their work, hewn in a package of treatments and actions that are ultimately quite physical, like chopping, sketching, and going feralessly way outside the lines.

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