Coming very much from the left-field art and music scene, Invisible Agent’s Swagger night has been creating quite the stir amongst Phnom Penh’s avant garde with its combination of cutting edge sounds, live visuals and even live painting.
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Originally posted by Hypnagogue
I’m not sure how easy it will be for some listeners to get into and stay with the churning, jazz-informed, bass-synth-driven electronica on Zoid’s Selected Zoidworks 05-12. My first few listens were a little on the off-putting side, trying to catch hold of Daniel Jacobson’s unlikely tempos and unnatural musical angles as I was being repeatedly punched by the low-end force of a 303 synth. And, to be honest, I can’t say I’ve entirely invested in it. But I’ve kept going back to it. It’s like standing back and watching an experiment you’re not sure you comfortable with, but in which the results keep you watching more than they drive you out of the lab. Jacobson lures you in with the reasonably accessible “Aerosoul,” where a smooth jazz guitar vies for your attention with an in-and-out tide of whooshing electronic sound. The contrast is excellent, and it takes a lot of potency from its deceptively simple appearance. Then things get trickier. “Phorph” dials down the obvious jazz influence and puts an almost-minimal rhythm against very quiet synth chords. The pulsing overtones read very retro, and the underlay is content to mind its business back there. The track takes on a slightly hypnotic quality through a repetition some may find grating. “Acid Leaves” tears up the scene with on-fire glitch snaps highlighting Jacobson’s use of non-standard–which is to say, non-electronic music-standard–time signatures. Along with mentor Bruce Morley, he manages to slide a funky guitar take of the standard “Autumn Leaves” into this semi-tamed tangle. This is one of the things that kept me checking out Zoidworks–the well-practiced pairing of the “norm” with the twisted and how well Jacobson, who is jazz-trained, makes it fit into a whole. But it does take some time to wrap your head around it. Try diving into “Obelisk,” another pairing of textbook jazz guitar playing underneath a rush of chittering, rapid-fire microsounds. Or submit to the grinding, over-modulated bass sounds powering “Cember” before a chipset-style melody creeps innocuously into the mix. A funky drum riff in the back makes it catchy even as it’s pounding away at your head. Drums take the forefront in “jwrong,” a twist of complex signatures snapping out over slow-paced bass. Sighs of sound and more of the guitar come in to find their own place in it.
Selected Zoidworks 05-12 won’t sit well with everyone. It takes some work and some patience, but through repeated sessions the method behind Jacobson’s sometimes overwhelming madness becomes clearer. It’s a tricky blend to pull off, this skidding collision of electronica and jazz, but in the hands of Zoid, it tends to work.
Listen and read more about Zoid Selected Zoidworks 05-12
Available now on Bandcamp and on Juno. Available on Itunes, Spotify, Google Play, Amazon, Emusic, Deezer and 100+ other stores next week…….
There are two T-Wocs. Those who have seen this Dublin-based producer in any one of a number of hot and sweaty basement bars across the city will know him as a purveyor of big bouncing basey beats and thumping reggae goodness that propel the dance floor into a furious frenzy. Those who know him from his prolific releases will know him as a serious producer of instrumental dub and deep-filled electronic soundscapes.
The frenetic energy of T-Woc live would never work as well beyond the sweat-filled basement, but Hoshorom, his latest 4-track EP on the genre-bending net label Invisible Agent, still manages to tap in to it and infuse a collection of dark and brooding dub sounds with a cheeky playfulness.
bacoloa, the opening track, hits you from the off with a hectic impatience that drives you forward then suddenly collapses, fading away into the subtle ether where the factory-floor beats of enough hammer out an industrialised dub before emerging fully formed and triumphant on suffered, a space-hopper of track that bounces along in a direction you never expected. panong, the seven minute-long final destination of your journey through Hoshorom, arrives like the terminus on a train journey where you fell asleep and missed your stop, awakening somewhere that you never expected, dark and unsettling at first but as familiarity grows it cocoons you with its warm embrace, filling you with sad regret when it all ends and its time to go back home.
Hoshorom is T-Woc at his most accomplished as a producer. He may never fully reconcile his two halves, but on the strength of this EP, why would he want to?
T-Woc – Hoshorom EP
Bass heavy goodness from T-Woc. Available as a pre-order on Bandcamp and Exclusively on Juno (26th of March 2013).