Following hard on the heels of "Unfidelity", his critically acclaimed debut for Panet Mu, Bristol's analogue explorer Nick Edwards unleashes another set of home-taped electronic excursions. Many of these tracks could easily have been included on the previous album, and in fact most of them were recorded during the same time period, but had to be left off simply due to lack of space. In that sense, "Four Track Mind" can be viewed as a companion volume to "Unfidelity", but also presents a slightly wider selection of moods and ideas for those intrigued enough to further explore Ekoplekz' distinctive four-track sound.
Double LP £23.99 ZIQ353
Ltd 2LP on Planet Mu. Edition of 300 numbered copies.
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- Four Track Mind by Ekoplekz
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Some people are lucky if they have one interesting creative thought in their whole lives. Bristol’s finest knob twiddler Nick Edwards seems like a man who’s absorbed so much music over the years that his brain is literally bursting with capacity and has to spit a load of it back out, all of the dub, bass music, industrial, IDM, techno, noise etc. his ears have gobbled up has fused together inside his brain and reassembled into new forms, compulsively articulated through his machines into the highly distinctive Ekoplekz sound.
I’ve literally just about fully consumed his debut long player for Planet Mu, the acclaimed ‘Unfidelity’ but clearly his expanding brain got full again and the ideas came bursting out to create ‘Four Track Mind’. I think I say every record he makes is his best yet, which really is not intended as hyperbole but I genuinely think the Ekoplekz stuff just gets better. So many artists remain stagnant once they find their sound but the Ekoplekz sound appears to grow and refine with each release. The man and his machines are making progress. Only this progression can make an artist so prolific remain this interesting and enjoyable to listen to.
‘Four Track Mind’ is only available from a select handful of online retailers, of which we are fortunate enough to be one (thanks Planet Mu!) The 2LP is pressed in a numbered edition of 300 copies, printed on reverse board, featuring spot gloss and includes a download code. It’s been described by the label as “one for the serious fans only”. I’m inclined to disagree; sure the hardcore fans will lap this sucker up but I recommend the record to any noobs as a great introduction to the Ekoplekz catalogue.
Kicking off with the ‘Ariel Grey’ which sounds like Conrad Schnitzler plays Augustus Pablo into ‘Tantrikz’ with a primitive electronic beat that sounds like it fell off the back of Chris Carter’s classic ‘The Space Between’ but then becomes more complex sounding like a tiny army of clockwork robots marching along to liquidy electronic bleeps and warm synth clouds. “Meek Street” is a great example of the appeal of Nick’s production sound. Not too dirty and distorted but just on the edge with that lovely analogue grubbiness and then shimmering lush melodies interacting. ‘Reflekzive’ surely doffs it’s hat to early Rephlex records, somewhere between AFX, U-Ziq and Kinesthesia.
‘Death Watch’ is a wonderful doomy dirge with subtle but wild keys that recall Sun Ra and manages to be both dark and psychedelic. ‘In Teak Effect’ is a cheeky wink at label boss Mike Paradinas’ ‘In Pine Effect’ and does infact sound like early U-Ziq with that lovely crunchy sound juxtaposed with gorgeous, infectious playful melody. Very cool little tribute. The title track remains very much in that classic post-rave comedown, mellow but slightly industrial sounding chilled techno zone, a place I’m always happy to hang out. ‘Return To Annex’ is all icy, creepy soundscapes and distant ghostly voices before the album closes with the dreamy melancholy electronica of ‘Fox Eyes’.
Totally recommend grabbing this while it’s about. Ace stuff as always from this consistently reliable and very talented artist.
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