Both Frak’s synth weirdness and Heatsick’s off-kilter house experiments are best experienced live. The rough and loose arrangements, lurching drones and freeform percussion blend into a fantastically bizarre electronic soup. To capture that sound C4 Reels are releasing this recording of a 2012 live show in Amsterdam. This is limited to 100 coloured double cassettes, with handmade artwork, and there won’t be a repress of this little gem.
Tape £10.99 C4R 002
Limited 2x tape set on C4 Reels. Coloured cassettes with hand printed cover, insert and additional 'Pump It Up' sticker. Edition of 100 copies.
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- Live at Club 4 Reel, OCCII, Amsterdam by Frak / Heatsick
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This release is like those packs of Tic Tacs where you get the orange and green ones in the same packet. Different flavours, but related, like Frak and Heatsick’s take on live house sounds, variants on the exciting thump, presented on a different colour tape. Hand percussions are rattled and tapped like there’s no tomorrow, synths fly around like assorted aeroplanes, and kick drums hang around long til after everyone’s left.
First up is Heatsick’s blue one, the starts like a Gilles Peterson Boiler Room, the kicks pounding, the funky percs all locked in, clinking along. Someone briefly shuffles on a hi hat thing, gets bored and takes to the keys instead, providing the essential jazzy chord stabs that you’d expect from house. Before you know it, the layers build and you realise that you’re actually listening to a fully-fledged house jam and the crowd’s shrieks have been long drowned out. It’s got a fairly deep housey feel, like if Detroit Swindle were jamming with Four Tet or Dan Snaith, but even grainier than their productions due to some proper lo-fi recording techniques. Not for everyone, as the whole thing is really muffled which isn’t always the houser’s vibe. Gilly P would not approve, anyway.
Over to the green Frak reel and it seems to be in a pretty odd place, some 80s streetfighting standoff stuff at first, all synths blaring, before a slowly voice bellows ‘do we have your attention??’ and a slow acid groove begins, complete with a chunky gated snare and a 303-esque buttery squelch arp. Frak’s Squelchy Life. Not sure who Frak are but they sure do smell of oddball, and sure enough a quick Discogs check shows the three of them in green boilersuits wearing a full face tin foil mask. They’ve also been releasing cassettes since the 80s so I really should know. Genuine, original acid purveyors, and you can hear it in their straight up, slinky jams.
This is a great party tape that you could just whack on and leave while people lose their shit.
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