Low Jack christens his new label, Editions Gravats, with this wobbly, tightrope collection of industrial gut-punches. 'Ilot' follows up his work for the Trilogy Tapes label and also for L.I.E.S., but striking out on his own makes him all the more abrasive and terrifying -- which is a good thing, if you like angry French techno artists. We do.
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- Ilot by Gravats
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'Ilot' wobbles a lot. That much I can say; the title track conjures memories of fighting Boo ghosts on Super Mario 64, while the tinkering synth sounds like the soundtrack to a long-gone game about the distant future. The beats, meanwhile, drive forward aggressively and dispassionately, as if oblivious to all the digital chaos surrounding them. It's billed as dark, industrial techno, but it sounds oddly cute and bright, even as the track gears up and starts to screech. If this all sounds like nonsense, give me credit; I'm reviewing techno, here.
Things start to get a bit more isolated and eerie on "Lieu-Dit", which brings Low Jack's more minimal and calculated sound to the fore. It's a tiny, barely modulated snippet of a song, but it signals the intent for his new label: things aren't going to be pretty. Inaugurate as you mean to go on. The second go around of Ilot, "Snares", begins with a stuttering, blunt beat, pounding its way into existence. It gets distorted and wrecked until it feels kinda like I'm listening to black metal in a wind tunnel. Techno is kind of like black metal, you know? 'Gravats' is a confident first release for Low Jack's new imprint -- it sounds gruesome, and I'm guessing that was the plan. I'm gonna go listen to some guitars now.
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