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Premiere: Rings Around Saturn – Synchrotron

If there is one label that puts the same effort in folding its carefully-curated grooves in between equally painstakingly crafted, one-off visual creations it’s certainly Lindsay Todd’s Firecracker Recordings. Each platter released on the label and its subdivisions – Unthank, Shevchenko – has come out draped in some of the most astonishing and singular artworks seen in recent times – courtesy of Lindsay himself and his fellow Glaswegian lieutenant Al White – never repeated as to clearly state their absolute uniqueness from conception to completion.

Once again making the most of this outstanding dual vision, Unthank’s new iteration will undoubtedly count as one of Firecracker’s sister imprint’s finest slices. For the 11th number, Australian astro-engineer Rory McPike decks out as Rings Around Saturn, his more blatantly space-ready alias that’s been put to genuine use on Jimmy Billingham’s Indole and Melbourne-based labels Hidden Waves, Rhythm Works and Analogue Attic. Over the course of seven comet-chasing tracks, McPike interlaces wads of influences and excels at each of them, be it offbeat modular-like dissonanz, heart-rending Eno-esque harmonics – oh, the superb ‘I Can See Look Am At We‘, speedball electro and silky late ’70s – early 80s influenced discoid funk on the last stretch.

Our pick, the EP’s opening cut ‘Synchrotron‘ flies low to the ground, slaloming between rocky reliefs and rugged terrains at full pelt. The bass surges and races ceaselessly – hello Galaxy 2 Galaxy! or is it Aux 88 on LSD, whilst full armies of mutant fireflies come thick and fast through the dark mantle of a stellar night. Its fast-paced electro frenzy will sure please the Drexciya lovers but there’s more to dig up there than what could sound to be mere “revival” of the classic ’90s cosmo-telluric style or underwater realms of the legendary Detroit pair, there’s a sheer profoundness in McPike’s free-flowing pyrotechnics and more off-road bends that’ll make it live up to the million plays you’ll give to this dazzling new plate. Forget SpaceX, here’s a much cheaper ticket to the outer reaches of the galaxy.

Unthank 011 is released via Unthank on 4th April, pre-order a vinyl copy from Bandcamp.


1. Synchrotron
2. Peripheral Visionary
3. I Can See Look Am At We
4. Jupiter C
5. Spectrum
6. F 124cc
7. Silver Ghost

Discover more about Rings Around Saturn and Firecracker Recordings on Inverted Audio.