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Basses Terres: Counting Pulsations

Released: 30 January 2017
Artist:
Format:
Tracklist
A1. Opening / Triangulated
A2. The Mask Of A Person Who No Longer Listens
A3. Trypophobia (Legs Wide Open)
A4. Formed, Unformed, Re-formed
A5. Lines Of Dismemberment
B1. Undecipherable Eyes, Protected From The Sunlight
B2. One Way Voice Link
B3. Kiss In The Neck / Reversed Reflex
B4. Fissure / Methedrin
B5. Ionosphere
B6. Oubliettes / The Circuit Is Closed

Mysterious strings of formatted numbers unfold, distinctly spelt by a spooky female voice, coldly droning its cryptic messages as the world drifts off to sleep. Over our heads and below the stars, up in an unattainable layer of the generic atmosphere, secrets are told – like murmurs echoing from a far-off land, invisible fishing lines are thrown with the hope of a presence to manifest. When the silence seems so thick and stifling, it is time for the number stations to awaken.

If you’ve heard Basses Terres‘ excellent debut EP for BFDM, ‘A Darker Rain‘, you’ve certainly noticed his lean for finespun atmospherics and full-on cinematic deep audio-scenarios. Yet more pared-down and essential, his second instalment for the Lyon-based imprint exalts some of the most transcending ambient we’ve had the chance to hear in quite a long time.

The whirring ‘Opening / Triangulate‘ kicks things off on a dark-hued, straight-up anxiogenic tip. In its first part, blunt percs and lethargic drums grow a numb tempo that draws closer to a weak and irregular heartbeat that brushes past catatonia before whipping out re-imagined trap-like patterns with a pinch of abstract hip-hop in the rearview.

Basses-Terres

This Janus-faced display of power irrigates the album and Basses Terres doesn’t seem to ramp down no matter the mood – neither compromising about the percussive strike-force of his more techno-ey brews like ‘Kiss In The Neck / Reversed Reflex‘ nor astonishing penetration depth of extensive ambient cuts like the Eno-esque ‘Undecipherable Eyes, Protected From The Sunlight‘ or the slo-mo narcotic meltdown of ‘Fissure / Methedrin‘.

Trypophobia (Legs Wide Open)‘ (which you can stream in full below) finds Basses Terres exploring a fine gap between greasy post-industrial mechanics and sterling tune-making, assembling a concert of sonar-like bleeps, ancient shofars and a primitive drum thump with the right distance in between to create something as naturally immersive as its depth of field feels unfathomable. The sublime ‘Lines Of Dismemberment‘ shines with such a moving, delicate light that it’s almost impossible to translate in words or I’ll leave it to Basho here:

"Sadly, I part from you;
 Like a clam torn from its shell,
 I go, and autumn too."

On tracks like ‘Formed, Unformed, Re-formed‘, the ghost of Actress hangs over without feeling ever mimicked thankfully. The use of reverbs and contrapuntal rhythmic approach here harbours a singular vision, discreetly hopeful and vibrant rather than seeking to drape in rehashed post-techno with genuinely off-kilter dub tropes that resound with an honesty that certainly is as difficult to harness as it is to hold over the course of a full-length. It’s still early in the year but I’ll say it without beating around the bush: ‘Counting Pulsations‘ is one of the albums of 2017 and certainly more.

We tried to reach out to the enigmatic producer for a statement via BFDM boss Judaah but he only transmitted this weird message that you can decrypt with this key:

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Counting Pulsations is released via BFDM on 30th January.

TRACKLIST

A1. Opening / Triangulated
A2. The Mask Of A Person Who No Longer Listens
A3. Trypophobia (Legs Wide Open)
A4. Formed, Unformed, Re-formed
A5. Lines Of Dismemberment
B1. Undecipherable Eyes, Protected From The Sunlight
B2. One Way Voice Link
B3. Kiss In The Neck / Reversed Reflex
B4. Fissure / Methedrin
B5. Ionosphere
B6. Oubliettes / The Circuit Is Closed

Discover more about Basses Terres and BFDM on Inverted Audio.

Ewan Pearson
Ewan Pearson