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- Split Series #22 by The Durian Brothers / Ensemble Skalectrik
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For the 22nd instalment of its now-legendary ongoing split series with their distinctive drilled sleeves, FatCat have enlisted the services of turntable abusers The Durian Brothers and Ensemble Skalectrik (aka Nick Edwards aka Ekoplekz), demonstrating new shades of deck mastery the like of which you’ve probably never heard before.
On their side The Durian Brothers use prepared turntables (without records) and various effects and treatments to create otherworldly loopscapes which delight and amuse with their head-scrambling trickery, often leaving me unable to tell where the sounds are actually coming from. It’s particularly effective in closer ‘Unterirdisch’, a lolloping tropical passage with puttering polyrhythms and a hypnotic looped melody which seems to tip its cap to Cuban jazz. A brilliant end to their side after a slow but intriguing start.
Over on the other side, then, we’ve got Ensemble Skalectrik, whose ‘Trainwrekz’ LP on Editions Mego had our Ant salivating a few weeks ago. His is a very different aesthetic here, a dark, languid post-dub drift full of static whooshes, and echoed beats and vocals which drag their feet quite satisfyingly. On his side I’m particularly enjoying ‘Powertranz’, where synths squelch and twitch over a skittering fluttery beat like volatile crackling electricity before closer ‘Winslow’ sounds like the Caretaker adopting the haunted dancehall vibes of Ela Orleans, particularly reminiscent of her more experimental ‘NEO PI-R’ LP. Both sides provide mind-boggling turntable-based madness which is, at its high points, completely inspired.
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