TTT, 1080p, Opal Tapes, Where To Now, 100% Silk, Indole, Always Human Tapes… the number of labels pushing forward-thinking electronic recordings via the good old dusty tape format into next-gen realms has been booming over the past few years – not only because of its cheap cost of production but also because of the cassette’s peculiar audio presence and unmatched grainy appeal.
Amongst them, Seagrave co-founder and half of the IXTAB duo Tim Matts played a consistent role in pushing a generation of bold and dauntless producers to the forefront whilst laying the foundations to his own venturesome body of work. Following up to excursions on Cloud Bank and Speaker Footage, Blood Room makes his debut on rising intercontinental outlet SØVN with ‘Dendera Lite‘, a nine-tracker featuring fellow Seagrave affiliates Graham Dunning, A i w A and 99LETTERS and more on remix duties.
"The very Autechre-esque 'Cedar Tail' then lets a script-gone-wild tempest of heavy bass spurts and laser-targeting breaks in, slicing synth shards like a screwed VHS spits glitches"
‘500 Eley Wasp‘ opens festivities on an engaging ambient note; swarming with organic drips, earthy rumbling and tolling chimes as disjointed droney bursts crash with gnawing fury like hail on a tin roof. Well immersive. The very Autechre-esque ‘Cedar Tail‘ then lets a script-gone-wild tempest of heavy bass spurts and laser-targeting breaks in, slicing synth shards like a screwed VHS spits glitches whilst the Arabic song coming halfway in adds a fine contrapuntal swerve. Tense as ever.
‘CQLD‘ follows a more beaconed proto-4/4 trail – complying with a stomping martial beat, but inundates the remaining space with a deadly mixture of askew vox and whipping snares; puncturing the upper hermetic layer from all sides to let its off-grid nature take control. Of its two reinterpretations, 99LETTERS’ rework is the most funky as it implements a proper shuffling swing to the original’s seemingly inertial groove, bringing an extra dose of head-on floor dynamism.
Taking an opposite view to the Japanese producer’s lively revamp, Boliden’s version is a proper tape-saturated ambient melter that goes straight for the sheer emotional uplift with its iridescent strings and metronomic pulse pushing under a mille-feuille of white noise and static. An extreme trip from deep-down the bottom of a filthy audio pit up to ambrosial spheres – following quite an antipodal movement to Yoshitaka Hikawa’s rendition of ‘Cedar Tail‘: the Tokyoite hammering out a chaos-inducing downpour of abrasive salvos and seesawing bass slivers.
The inaugural track ‘500 Eley Wasp‘ has been the base motif to most re-constructions here. Budapest-based producer A i w A goes in with an hypnotic downtempo meandering, re-framing the chimey melody within a subaqueous broken-beat architecture whilst emphasizing the bells’ verve through well-rounded arpeggios. For his part AyGeeTee opts for a more deep-house-imbued drive, extending the contemplative force of Blood Room’s original mix whilst giving it a forward-moving boost, moving like a train across the valleys of the mind.
Last but not least, Graham Dunning delivers the most fearless and compelling remix of the pack: rolling out an off-kilter groove amidst squalls of thunderous blasts and predatory drum hits, the nervy build-up is only intensified by sonar-like echoes, bleeping and blooping as the track progressively sinks into non-objective, purely atmospheric terrains. ‘Dendera Lite‘ is a success on many levels – demanding yet rewarding, delicate yet forcible. All in all, a sonic tour de force from a label you should definitely keep an eye on.
Dendera Lite EP is due out on 11th September, pre-order a copy from Bandcamp.
1. 500 Eley Wasp
2. Cedar Tail (feat. Shehta)
4. CQLD (99LETTERS Remix)
5. 500 Eley Wasp (A I W A Remix)
6. Cedar Tail (Yoshitaka Hikawa Remix)
7. CQLD (Boliden Remix)
8. 500 Eley Wasp (AyGeeTee Remix)
9. 500 Eley Wasp (Graham Dunning Remix)