Black Light Odyssey
There’s so much instrumental EBM of a techno bent these days, to the point that even the best producers can have a hard time standing out. Los Angeles’ Black Light Odyssey do a good job of making their numbers stand out from the throng with the tried and true repeated vocal sample as hook and dipping their toes into a few distinct stylistic pools. Opening title track on new EP The Beat hybridizes funky new beat bass and acid squelches with manipulated vocals, paring the track down to its rhythmic essentials for a nice break and build. “Breathing in Fumes” revolves around a more halting kick-snare pattern, its pulsing bassline and low buzzing synthlines propelling a menacing and nigh-unintelligible voice that dips in and out of the mix before lifting the outro to “Enjoy the Silence” whole. EP highlight and club contender “The System” brings Randolph & Mortimer to mind as it gallops along on tweaky bass and big pads, letting the groove established in its opening moments grind down to nothing. The funky italo-touched “No Future” caps off the EP, its distorted orch hits and snappy snares should make it stand side by side with similar recent cuts by Infravision. Black Light Odyssey zero in on their ideas quickly and let them play out without meddling with them excessively.
Experimental French duo Meta Meat’s style places them in rough proximity to the more ambient and rhythmically subtle area of Ant-Zen’s domain, though by inference one can make guesses as to their interests beyond the label’s rhythmic noise bread and butter: electro-acoustic composition, post-rock, maybe even some free jazz? New record Infrasupra itself is a simultaneously tasteful and disquieting listen which shifts from complex polyrhythms to heavy buzzing drones, yet retains a distinctly continental sense of polish and restraint. The rhythms, sometimes made up of layered hand drums, sometimes coming through sampled and measured gasps for air, ride a fine line between being propulsively insistent and slipping off one another into the margins of a spacious mix. Harmonic elements are woven in through agreeable pads, acoustic instrumentation (possibly sampled) and muffled vocal sampling which keeps the focus on the pitch and timbre of fractured syllables rather than full words or exclamations. A little bit off-kilter for Ant-Zen, but anyone with an ear for their smoother and more avant garde side should dig this.