For their first outing as Slack DJs, French producers Low Jack and D.K. come up on The Trilogy Tapes with a beefy menu full on sliced-and-diced, tape-saturated analogue whirls and scrappy audio fragments. Uncompromising and swarming with ideas, ‘Glasshouse Mountains‘ makes for an intriguing debut ; the kind of plate we’d have expected from Low Jack – expert in that vein of corrosive, arcane boogie material, but less from fellow floor-focused, tropical house purveyor D.K.
Breaking the EP in, ‘Hoops‘ reels off a series of arrhythmic drum sequences randomly spouting through over-textured, noisey interchanges, waving back and forth from lo-freq pits to inaudible, hyper-compressed peaks. Vocal samples drill their way through that static-filled, molten stratum of sound bedlam but flogging snares, humongous kicks and distorted strings keep flexing from an extreme to the other in one delirious blowout. If Hugo once wrote that “Music is noise that thinks“, this track clearly is as demanding in terms of listening comfort as it invites to reconsider the concept of club music with quite an unmatched brunt.
Tearing apart an afrobeat’ish groove in pieces and falling a bit more off the dance-continuum is ‘75011‘. Spraying hissy, grainy slivers over a subtly lavish – yet quite confined till the second half – chaplet of fancy xylophones and steely percussions, the second track is a lot more binary in its construction, working a very different inclination compared to the continual tempo-shifts and low-slung rumble in action on ‘Hoops‘. A bit lengthy of an interlude but still audacious in its own right.
Side B displays a percussion-loaded variation and another beatless rendition of the title track. On Mix 1, skittish thrumming snares and slimy synth cascades glide quite fluidly before definitely laying bare of any groove towards the third-quarter of the track. Expurgated from any coordinated motion, stirring its inanimate matter in an ultimate gasp, the track leaves its off-beat percussions hanging loose. More surprisingly, Mix 2 offers a shimmering closure, blending disjointed, dissonant drums and high-pitched synth shards, glowing and flickering like blazing flakes over a mercury pond.
Slack DJs’ experimental mishmash may sound completely improvised, its purposely passive-aggressive features and glitch-filled, crumbly architecture still ensure what any good noise record actually seeks: realign your audio-scope on different levels of comprehension. And by doing just that, D.K. and Low Jack’s dauntless undertaking should be saluted.
Glasshouse Mountains is out now, order a vinyl copy from Juno.
B1. Glasshouse Mountains (Mix 1)
B2. Glasshouse Mountains (Mix 2)