The latest from much respected experimental dancehead Gamble, this further refines his work referencing the past sounds UK jungle, rave and techno but bring something wholly new to the party. This exploratory work sounds like a coagulation of the best bits of dark 90's underground danced, re-badged for the modern day techno enthusiast. A quick listen to 'Motor System' reveals a pounding, pulsating bedrock of percussion over which soft evocative synths are layered. It works splendidly, sounding new but also nostalgic at the same time. If the rest of the album is as good then this double vinyl, single CD record could be one of this years landmark releases.
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- KOCH by Lee Gamble
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After clearing all the junglist detritus out of his brain attic that time and having all the neighbours applaud him for finding musical worth in such broken-down junk, Lee Gamble seems to have hit upon an actual musical career as a doyen of electronic abstraction. Like the last record I reviewed by him, this fresh and crispy double set pulls no punches in its quest for fertile sonic territory.
'Motor System' is the first track here to punch a hole in your brain, Gamble taking a galloping basement techno bange, then somehow elevating it from its status as a dingy warehouse soundtrack by hoisting it way up into the cosmos. His use of fuzzy granular textures to dissolve tension but increase momentum is remarkable. It would easily slot into a dub techno set even though it's not strictly dub techno. The lengthier tracks on side one appear to be interspersed with shorter experimental ambient pieces/sonic ponderings. These work well in tandem with his more long form expressions.
After hearing the slightly awkward and wispy basement house jazzer 'Nueme' I'm convinced this lad is a bit of a visionary. This sounds like Levon Vincent blearily waking up in the dingy pit of a well surrounded by moths and fireflies. How does he get out? I don't think he's in any hurry, he's bangin' out a tune isn't he?
To be quite up front, this is a proper double album and I should be allowed a couple of hours with it at least. That's sadly not to be this morning but I will state that 'Koch' is a considerable artistic statement that furthers his unusual approach to representing the vast sprawl of club music's exoskeleton. His sound is definitely engineered for forward thinking sound systems but as a "journey" you'll find as much remarkable "sound art" over these four sides as you will straight-up beats. His material is often near ethereal, eerie and weightless therefore many tracks appear like sonic sketches that merge, fold and collide into one another rather than offering up any consistent beat-fix. This isn't one to stick on with the mates round. It's all over the fucking shop! 'Koch' is a collection of brave new forms and unique expressions in abstracted electronica spattered with some stunning cuts for the discerning DJ. A thoroughly rewarding and thought-provoking record.
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