Self-described “Japalien exile” Goh Nakada has been lurking the darker corners of bass music for years, both as an engineer and as part of the G36 duo alongside The Bug. With a body of work scattered across multiple projects over the past two decades, Nakada is certainly no newcomer, but the full-length debut of his solo work under the Gorgonn moniker feels well-timed. Linking Nakada’s roots in bass to the most scraping of industrial techno sounds, Six Paths succeeds by finding fresh ways to examine the same extremities as recent waves of dark techno.
From the grinding lope of opening track “Greed” onward, one gets a sense of how Six Paths works to take the sounds (if not the monotonous rhythms) of the current techno-industrial sound in abstract directions, enlivened by deep and hypnotic bass frequencies as well as classic industrial distortion and squall. Alternately clattering and retreating, Nakada’s polyrhythms disorient in the hothouse haze of “Invisible”, and create a powerful sense of undertow on the determined and punishing “Not Yet Surrendered”.
Despite its explorations of decidedly industrial and noise-driven textures, Six Paths is equally a showcase for Nakada’s long-developed chops within bass and dub circles, especially the deeper into the record one pushes. Detuned drones dive and flange across the stereo spectrum on “When Can I Come Back?”, while stabbing bass zaps on “Acid Body” ably offset snappy backbeat percussion. Bringing both Lee Perry’s commandment to “dub it up blacker than dread” and William Gibson’s casting of dub as the soundtrack to a future perpetually around the corner, Gorgonn hits upon dub’s deep warmth as well as its uncanny dimensions.
Much in the same way that black metal and dark ambient ended up merging in their more extreme incarnations a couple of decades back, Gorgonn’s work ends up finding woozy harmonies between a whole handful of sounds and subgenres as they push further and further into darkness and abstraction. The slowly amplifying drones on closer “There Is Nothing On The Other Side” could be claimed by disciples of dark ambient, dub, or first wave industrial, but those distinctions end up being washed away by Gorgonn’s obliterating resonance.