Split Series #23 by Tlaotlon / Katie Gately

These two rising artists share their playful and cerebral experiments with all on a dynamic 12" split for FatCat -- where pop songs go to meet an untimely end. Katie Gately meshes together found sounds with melodic precision, calling to mind the chilling ambience and resounding beauty of Julia Holter's 'Loud City Song'. Meanwhile, Tlaotlon offers bombastic IDM that makes you believe without exposition.

Vinyl 12" £14.49 12FAT093

12" on FatCat. Numbered edition of 500 copies in custom hand-drilled sleeves.

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Split Series #23 by Tlaotlon / Katie Gately
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9/10 ReviewBot3000 23 October 2014

Fat Cat's split series continues this week with #23, which features two of the more interesting electronic artists doing the rounds right now. On side A we've got newcomer Katie Gately, an LA-based professional sound designer whose skull-splitting debut mini-LP on Public Information last year forced me to sit up and take notice, while on the other side is Tlaotlon, aka New Zealander and Orchestra of Spheres member Jeremy Coughbrough.

Gately's contribution is a single epic track, 'Pivot', which opens with eerily layered vocal drones and smooth electronic tones before flitting into a strange nocturnal patchwork of processed sounds, poking awkwardly from stark silence. Then Gately starts singing an eerie vocal line over snaking manipulated vocals and church-organ synths...I'm starting to suspect that all of the sounds on this track save the very minimal beats started life as vocal samples but I'm not certain, there are moments it's got that kind of sea-of-vocoders thing going on like that 'Hide and Seek' song that The OC ruined. It flits between passages of warped pop, layered sonic extremities and sparse and purposefully awkward minimalism, finally building to a slow churn of industrial rhythms and blurrily layered vocal counterpoint. It doesn't feel like a single long piece so much as several seamlessly-stitched-together tracks, but either way her mixture of pure pop and wacked out experimentalism is an alluring one. Fans of Julia Holter, Ela Orleans and Holly Herndon should check this lady's work out right away.

Tlaotlon's side contains four shorter pieces full of strange morphing electronic loop tomfoolery, stitching together mechanical beeps and clanks against hyperactively bubbling synth snippets, grinding metallic whooshes, flickering off-kilter beats and bright, crisp tones. The songs bubble and putter and bump away to themselves in often quite disorienting fashion, with Coughbrough introducing all manner of confusing tones and out-of-time rhythms to the soup, repeating them until they seem to make sense. Satisfyingly warped and forward-thinking efforts by both artists here, fans of head-scratching leftfield electronica should invest.



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