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- Glasshouse Mountains EP by Slack DJs
8/10 RMCC Customer review, 7th August 2015
An interesting and engaging outing for two familiar faces on the ever excellent Trilogy Tapes.
You may be forgiven for not recognising the Slack DJs, who make their debut on The Trilogy Tapes, but they're not new faces. Slack DJs are, in fact, the pairing of Low Jack & D.K. a.k.a 45 ACP. It's not the first time the two have collaborated either, with a previously excellent outing as Darabi back in 2009. This time round, they're playing to their strengths as a partnership once again and teasing out the best of each's distinctive style.
The EP begins at its harshest with 'Hoops'. It's the closest we get to anything like a dance-floor focused track, though even then it's more soundscape than club-banger. This one's got more Low Jack than D.K. written on it, with distorted drum patterns and chugging, clanging melodies. There's some sort of vocal hook in there too, but good luck working out what it might be saying! Second up is the excellent '75011', which sounds as if it could have been collected from found-sounds around the work-place. There's something sounding like a blast of machinery over the top of some ambient bubbling and background chatter, which brings the influence of D.K. to the fore. This one's about as abstract as anything you're likely to get on a TTT release, and it makes a strong case for hearing some more.
The second half of the record is devoted to two mixes of the title track 'Glasshouse Mountains'. The first, (mix 1), is a claustrophobic affair, with an atonal synth whirring set over a plodding, gentle drum pattern. The track varies in tempo, with bursts of speed adding to the estranged nature of the piece. (Mix 2), however, is where we are treated to the records best effort. This time, the unnerving tones are done away with and we're treated to a quite delightful, gentle summer haze of a track. Synths dance over the surface of a fuzzy, warm background. There's also a few light drum rolls, and some dotted spots over the top closer to the end of the track, which bring record nicely to a close. It all fades away in a contemplative mood, which is both clever and superbly executed.
The making of this record is in the pairing of the two producers. Low Jack has made his name in brutal, unrelenting techno-noise bordering on audio-assault. By pairing up with the more gentle D.K., these traits are toned down in a way which allows the more melodic side of Low Jack's music to flourish. This, some might say, it a little overdue. However, the harshness of Low Jack's approach at times gives D.K. a kick which keep the record from meandering.
The record is much more bedroom listening than dance-floor killer, but it's a great way to sit back an relax. Take a few minutes to lose yourself in the sound-scape, and maybe a few more to enjoy the hilarious cover art, and you'll have a thoroughly enjoyable experience.
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