M.E.S.H. presents a curious release indeed, a record that dips in and out of typical club forms, knocking dancers back with dramatically shifting rhythms and unexpected sonic elements metamorphosing in and out of existence. Great stuff for a debut. Piteous Gate is out on PAN, the obvious home for Berlin-based weird club electronics.
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- Piteous Gate by M.E.S.H.
8/10 Jim Staff review, 12 July 2015
Here’s a treat for fans of deep n’ dark, shape-shifting electronica. Having only released two EPs, US born Berliner M.E.S.H. (aka James Whipple) has already generated a considerable buzz across the electronic music underground from his sets with the experimental club nights hosted by the Janus Collective. PAN is the perfect home for his debut LP, which is a fractured, schizophrenic record that mixes up chamberish baroque textures with sci-fi atmospheres and futurist brutalism.
Like a lot of current electronic producers who are pushing the barriers between found-sound and dance music (see Holly Herndon, Lotic, J.G. Biberkopf etc) there’s a mind-boggling level of detail here, with intricate juxtapositions that set-off unexpected connections and images; like the scraping sheet-metal and pitched-up feedback abstractions of ‘Azov Seepage’ for example, sounding like a canary trapped in the Tardis. As fresh as all this sounds, the album frequently reminds me of Autechre; even the uncanny blending of courtly melancholy with abrasive non-referential abstraction is a rich seam they’ve been mining for a while now. Also similar to Booth and Brown, Whipple has a knack for coming up with some startlingly incongruous beats; just check out the ruff-as-fuck bass whacks on ‘Thorium’ or the knockout repeato snare on ‘Epithet’ for a taste.
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