North Manc Beds. What a name that is. As is GazOhmEater EP. I won't pretend to know what that means. Their music though, is like techno with a sense of humour. Crunchy and fun and filled with little thoughtful touches that show they know what they're doing. Inspired by the Pennines, and all the sounds they contain.
Vinyl 12" £7.49 NMB5
5-track 12" EP on Skam. Sleeve design by NMB Allstars. Mastered by Bola.
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I used to get pretty excited when those North Manc Beds EPs dropped on Skam family label 33 back in the day and still treasure them. Like those early Gescom and Dual Purpose records - you never really knew exactly who was behind the music, and it didn't really matter. The anonymous techno thing has become a cliché at this point, but in those days it genuinely added to the allure and actually meant something i.e the music was the be-all and end all -- pre-social media when you knew what artists had for breakfast.
The last record we got from North Manc Beds was about nine years ago, so when this one landed I got pretty hyped, so there was no way this was gonna evade me spewing a few words about it. I actually indulged in a bit of deferred gratification - after a quick skip through I decided that I needed to absorb it late at night without anybody doing my nut in. So it got piped in on headphones, fully zoning in total darkness and it's proper tackle. I could speculate about who I think could be involved - as I think I can hear little traces of artists that have released on Skam before, but I'm not gonna go there. Whoever is producing the tracks it sounds like they were the sort of crew that lurked in the darkest corners of the rave - absorbing UK Hardcore, Bleep ‘n’ Bass, Acid House, Jungle, Techno, Electro and Hip Hop. Basically, veterans raised on a diet of the good stuff and that rave heritage seems to have permeated and mutated into the DNA of their sound. This is the sort of futuristic electronic music I like to zone out to and let it paint pictures behind the eyelids - images of strange machines and lifeforms which takes me right back to having my mind blown getting baked with a mate and watching the DVD that came with the Meam’s 2003 album ‘The L’ when it came out on Skam. It’s the perfect music for that introspective listen on a pair of cans bet equally will really come to life on a big system.
With its gloomy backdrop and mechanical metallic percussion ‘Moko’ wastes no time in transporting us into a dystopian landscape inhabited by machines. The acidic synth snakes through like some sort of giant cyborg worm shapeshifting, serpentine style in and out of craters. ‘Jussbassoneandone’ bangs with tough kicks and hybrid mentasm/hoover flashes like an outdoor rave somewhere in a lost network of caverns beneath the Pennines. ‘FRBounces’ sounds like a flashback to the golden era of the industrial North - the sound of heavy industry - except were in the future and the line manager is some big squelching alien made of iridescent goop. The melancholic ‘Safebliss 53Cond P455’ is beautifully layered with dissolving, weeping synth motifs and heavy clanging, tumbling drum machine - the whole thing seems as though it’s longing for a utopian future that seems just beyond grasp. ‘Stelcore 2 (Nabz_& Cluff Version)’ is the densest and most intense track on the EP - bursting with mutating, crunching rhythms and glistening synths - it’s a proper head wrecker in the best possible way. Cracking EP.
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