in-depth

Sauna Youth;  new youth

Sauna Youth - New Youth
Sauna Youth are a wild and conflicting bunch, a gang of feral children exploring the jungle of their mad minds. Like Dr Livingstone tracking the source of the Nile, or Neil Armstrong on the surface of the moon, or indeed imagine the boys sailing with the wind in their backs, landing on the Arabian Coast before trekking the Silk Route to see the Great Khan at the seat of his Empire in Karakorum. All this in the search of adventure, knowledge, riches. In one way or another it has been man’s destiny manifest to reach the furthest extremes of our knowledge, to play with the known facts and to unsettle the status quo. Of course such connection with these great men of history is merely facetious, a poetic ploy to put you in the mind-set of explorers unearthing long-lost gems. I want to get you back in the jungle, revealing the sticky folds and prodding the nerve-endings to release the gloopy insects and syrupy animals within. I think it comes having recently read Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing and the resulting visceral reaction I had to it, with all manner of things appearing like tentacles or Planarian worms, as if everything is coming alive around me. Rather interestingly though, Swamp Thing is a rather on-topic read when writing about Sauna Youth, the point at which both Sauna and Youth meet becomingly a likely sweltering breeding ground for new life, in simulacrum to Swamp Thing’s bayou home. Where mutant-like Planarian worms sexually reproduce through sperm and egg so too does human flesh seek young worms within soggy layers of man-made fibre for further advancement of the species. And so the Sauna Youth finds experimentation within this humid biome.

Referring more literally to the band and their music itself however and we see a developed multi-organism with distinct processes seeking out nourishment from various sources. Even on their earliest demo brash and caustic punk rock finds itself rubbing up against distinct psychic atmospheres. Take Mild Horses (which would later feature on Planet Sounds in a revised version) and you find tripped out hypnagogic phrases lumped in with the furious beats that make up the verses. Yet this is only the creeping vine of experimentalism, the mould that grows within the Petri dish. More is to come. Throughout this early demo we are subjected to that same monotonous beat often heard most in The Ramones or The Undertones, that same 1/8th note pattern on the hi-hat, the same driving snare drum on every other quarter note with the BOOM BOOM of the bass drum emphasising the notes preceding it. It is this driving influence that has a similar effect to the motorik beat of Krautrock, it lends itself well to Sauna Youth’s vital aggression as it occasionally slips in and out of more psychedelic movements. However let us move on to more recent work where the attempts to weld such styles together work so much more effectively.

Sauna Youth – Mild Horses (Demo)

Youth, their first 7″, listlessly bobbles between thrashing guitars and moments of bizarre transcendental backing vocals. This is of course suppose to be the doo-wop female backing vocals spoken of in their Collective Zine interview, but instead comes off as either an angelic choir reaching out towards God, or the psychedelic screechings of Jefferson Airplane, regularly the two manage to entwine fantastically. Just check out E2 Bang Bang for a perfect example of what I mean. Most tellingly Sauna Youth set themselves apart by employing moments of ambient noise as breathing space, lifting the songs apart for a brief few seconds before another two minutes of noise rumbles through. If each song tells it’s own epigrammatic tale then these moments allow the full appreciation of the narrative, or of understanding the word-play hidden within the growling depths of such tracks as Weird Friction (a sort of polemic on Nationalism and youth) or Des Animaux (understanding the importance of vitality in youth).

Sauna Youth – E2 Bang Bang

Back in August of 2010 Sauna Youth released what is in my mind the best of their work so far, the EP Mad Mind. Featured among these 4 tracks is an interesting collection of sounds, both warped and furious, that seems to harmonise the marriage between the two alternative paths they have trodden, that of punk rock and psychedelia. Negative Obsessions is a 3:22 blast of driving, acerbic punk, as lead singer Rich Pheonix  pours over inward forces hindering or steering oneself in ways that will inevitably lead to harm. Negative Obsessions is truly a peak of their talent, the apex of their short band narrative, reaching that great congruity between melody and attack. Whilst on track two My Gold’s Bangla reaches back to Youth and the hypnotic effect of harmonised backing singing which juxtaposes against the great walls of guitar noise and pounding floor tom to maximum impact. This leaves only one track left on side one, the brilliantly titled Mild Mild Horses. Lyrically it borrows from the previously released Mild Horses, however here the music is transplanted into an ambient synth noise in repetition, emphasised elegantly with pockets of backing singing cut-up and implanted succinctly. This is also where Rich Pheonix’s loud and bellowing voice seems to find itself shaded in a beautiful light. Even though they mix this clamorous voice with subtle synths it never appears awkward or heavy-handed, its sits just right, perhaps leaning on the previous two tracks for support. At the end of side-one it comes across as a skilful piece of manoeuvring allowing the tape to flow from abrasive to meditative in one smooth motion.

Sauna Youth – Mild Mild Horses

Addressing side-two on the tape however and I must bring in an earlier example from the original demo to flesh out this most intriguing side of the band. On the original demo Sauna Youth collaborated with Cold Puma‘s Patrick Fisher to create a bizarre Alan Bennett meets awkward-modern-humour tale of swimming pool woe, all wonderfully accented by a ten minute ambient synth work that seems to loll like the gentle splashes in this swimming costume drama. Of course the boys in the band cry “why wouldn’t you want to put a good story on there?”, and indeed why not. It seems fitting for a band who dabble in the chlorine-filled sloshing waters of the experimental, whether it be within punk rock or other, to trace the thin line between story-telling and song-writing and remark coolly that there’s nothing odd about that. Well there isn’t at all, why should there be? If you read the literature and find enjoyment in the understanding of songs, or indeed whether you even listen to the lyrics at all and find more enjoyment in the understanding of the actual music, then you are complying to the basics of narrative, whether condensed or elongated.

Back to Mad Mind then, and we get an even more absurd tale, this time centred around the little known affliction called Satyriasis. Written by Jen Calleja with Jonny Hill creating the sound, List of Power Stations is a story told in ejaculation, from masturbatory beginnings to the fluid, spewing ending that sticks like hard matter to your mind. The story involves a professor who has quite a large degree of hypersexuality, causing him to need to masturbate at moments when his mind isn’t clouded by other distractions. The result is an unbearable list of hide-aways, closets, locked-doors and other fleeting moments of escape, and similarly to Swimming involves a heavy use of ambient music to provide the backing. As a b-side to the brilliant Mad Mind it adds that story-telling element of which Sauna Youth naturally  seek out and reify in spurts of two minute punk.

Sauna Youth – List of Power Stations

The whole entwined glory of Sauna Youth is the complete and undeniable song-writing that manages to encapsulate histories and ideas and experimentalism into the two tape releases, the single 7″ release and the early demo. Tracks like Negative Obsession, Mild Horses, Teenage Summer, Weird Friction et al have a very visceral energy to them, as if immersed in limited bursts of narrative. All of which give a vital energy to them, of new life born out of dying elements of the past – the drum beat, the riff, the DIY attitude – and of experimentalism breathed into to rigid genre definitions.

Stephen Smith

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James Blake; in the stuttering silence.

Somewhere, away from it all, James Blake has brought to life a strange re-imagining of the world. He whispers it to life out of the silence, caressing the growing form with his breath, ushering it forth with outstretched hands. From the silence Blake’s creature has grown, and it is from that silence that it finds it strength.

Since Air & Lack Thereof (what could be more fitting name) we’ve come to gain massive respect for James Blake, for it was here that we first heard his unique talent for crossing breathing space with a keen ear for melody. From those first lonely notes come a flourishing experience that, as will come apparent, is a very unique and special thing distilled in nearly all of his works. It’s an ontological listening experience that separates your clouded mind from your corporeal jiggling self. As your body works its way into the rhythms, as broken as they are, your mind wonders from yourself, searching the space around it only blindly aware of what’s going on in the physical realm. I liken it to sitting in a crowded room with all the bluster of life happening in front of you, but as your friends talk around you you find yourself concentrating on matters detached from your present situation. Suddenly your mind is awash with all different feelings or memories, all of which vie for space in the front of your mind, and as this happens you become detached from the physical. James Blake finds in silence that way to disconnect your mind from your body, it alleviates the ceaseless noise in your head.

James Blake – Air & Lack Thereof

The Bells Sketch EP stretches this idea yet again as layer upon layer add themselves to the mix. Each one appears formed from a separate moment, colliding in the speakers like an air thick with smoke. On the eponymous opener Blake reaches for the melody, bringing in vocal samples to tie the piece together, and as the noises pass from speaker to speaker it begins to make more sense as a whole work. It’s carries the same dread as Burial, shifting through ambient noise and injected with clicks and glitches. Yet, the melody is more playful; here G-funk synthesizers bump up against cut-up samples to bring a technicolour wash to whole scene. The dark, urban soundscape becomes littered with a flirtatious natural element.

James Blake – The Bells Sketch

CMYK is no doubt his most known work, featuring of course, the title track which has helped him craft out a name in his own right. It is also an evolution in sound, tracing a lineage from 90s American R’n’B, through UK Garage all the way to Dubstep. The production on this album finds itself dipping into a multitude of influences, best found on the single CMYK itself. Taking it’s lead vocal sample from Kelis’ Caught Out There, pitch-shifted and deformed to be almost entirely unrecognisable, Blake moulds this creation out of the stuttering silences found in the pop and lock of R’n’B and Garage. As vocals slide in and out punctuating the track with moments of melody, synth lines run and stop, accents come in, pops and clicks run to and fro mimicking the playfulness of that R’n’B sound, Blake will force you to stop and listen to the silence, if only just for a moment. Then the noise and ambience will take over and as whole movements are created the silence disappears. Yet, he still manages to play on this as noise moves in and out of the track. It’s not a noiseless silence, but a silence found within the crowd. A noise will catch your ear but it will exist for only a second, and then you’re back in the silence of your own self again.

James Blake – CMYK

The EP CMYK is penetrated with a kind of holy reverence, a quietude that leans towards contemplation. Throughout the four tracks on the EP quiet is observed in split second flashes; from the church to the club. This is of course best realised in Blake’s source material, which takes its common ancestry in traditional R’n’B and Gospel music. On Footnotes it is in the synthesizer melody that appears and reappears cloning a kind of Sly and the Family Stone-esque organ sound. Of course the vocal samples help and the rumbling bass that cuts through momentarily is pure awe-of-God stuff. Again I’ll Stay begins with those pronounced snare and guitar accents that sound like they’ve been ripped off of something The O’Jays did. However instead of the inside of a Pentecostal Church we are still treated to the unique atmosphere of Dubstep, which gifts itself so magnificently to centres of urban living where the Dubstep scene really finds itself being played out. Recreational bedroom listening in apartments/flats/houses up and down the country is probably where most of the actual confrontation with this music happens, and as the towns expand and expand into even greater conurbations the glitchy atmospheric dynamics of Dubstep seem more and more to mimic the reality of our own living. A street light weighs it’s dim-glow heavy on my window as I write this, and all the time cars and lorries pass creating a transitory, neurotic environment that never seems to rest. Within this backdrop CMYK‘s stuttering silence seems to become more and more personal like a resting place to escape from the noise. And that contemplation space gains an increasing weight within me as I listen to this record.

James Blake – Footnotes

In Klavierwerke James Blake finds the perfect expression of reverence, of silence, and of contemplation. Silence becomes his best weapon. Again, as always, parts drop in and out, bass lines run and stop, whole movements come to a close before springing up again. But Klavierwerke works on an evolved basis, learning from its predecessors and moving forward. Silence is utilised much more freely on this record. It’s as if Blake imagines the record springing forth from the silence around it, rather than silence appearing in gaps within the music. Let me try and break this idea down for you. Opening track Klavierwerke reveals the brittle structure of this EP, one that is fragile and built around repeating parts. At any moment the structure could fall because the only thing that holds it together is the silence that the music is embedded in. Each part appears to be recorded separately and then mixed together, which in turn brings its own unique silence to every piece, whether or not that is deliberate or just illusory. Of course this reaches its furthest point of extrapolation at 4:05 when the music drops out completely for one or two seconds, allowing the track to become congruous with its own silence. Immediately after, wummpph, the sub-bass moves in and brittle structure finds itself being rebuilt, only to sway violently in the vibrations.

James Blake – Klavierwerke

I Only Know (What I Know Now) gives great emphasis to silence. The opening stops and starts numerous times before it find it’s feet. But it never loses its sense of rhythm, which is the remarkable thing about it. The silence acts as another beat, an anti-drop, another musical instrument to be explored and worked with. It is also the highpoint of the EP, linking Blake’s own melancholy and sober voice, effected and bent out of all shape, with a contemplative and esoteric atmosphere. And yet, while it maybe inward looking Blake still manages to capture real beauty in the melody, letting his natural playfulness shine through.

James Blake – I Only Know (What I Know Now)

As a whole it is a remarkable work, and one can imagine the hours sat at the piano (as in the German translation of klavierwerke, piano work) in a reflexive and meditative mood, working out the simple arrangements, or more complex ones as the work moves from individual instrument arrangements to piecing the whole thing together. In James Blake we find a man who can temper his musical creations to exploring the outside world, and the inner space we continually seek as a world becomes more and more interconnected. Space and silence are hard to find now as we struggle to avoid the many distractions that our day to day lives bring us, yet in James Blake there is an artist who helps detach ourselves from the unending noise. He helps us find the silence within ourselves.

Further listening: Check out James Blake’s cover of Feist’s Limit to Your Love, to be released on November 8th, on Atlas.

Equally, this sparse yet beautiful number is an unreleased work entitled I Never Learnt to Share.

Stephen Smith
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On the eve of Pattern+Grid World; a retrospective of FlyLo’s LA EPs


On this the figurative eve of the release of Flying Lotus’ latest EP, Pattern+Grid World, it’s important to take stock and look back into the past, so bound up in memories, that we can better understand the future. Now, so far all we’ve got from Warp Records, the ‘IDM’ staple that consistently releases brilliant work,  is one exclusive listen to Camera Day, a track indebted to a new sonic horizon. Imagine Hudson Mohawke or Rustie (again both on Warp) with all their colour and vibrancy with a substance, or template if you will, as dark and crackly as FlyLo’s previous efforts. Somehow it’s like he’s seen a bold new dawn in which he’s no longer bound by the dystopian dreams emanating through the world of dance music circa 2006-08. This time his future seems relentlessly optimistic – isn’t the cyclical nature of things strange – opened up by a great riff or chasm that’s sucked out the darkness and filled it with intensely hopeful synth sounds.

Flying Lotus – Camera Day

When Pattern+Grid World is released on the 20th September a new Flying Lotus will appear, shaped by a dynamic shift in world music. No longer the dark visionary, reaping the sound of the technologically humble past to rein-vision the future, but a luminous psychonaut throwing colour upon the easel and creating a bright and bold present.

My own history with Flying Lotus starts not with the Los Angeles album, though that would have been a logical starting point, but with LA 1X3, the first of the three EPs that worked to reinvent and re-imagine Los Angeles. I seem to recall reading a particularly interesting review of the EP in question, describing it in the sort of terms one would describe a hallucinogenic trip. As if it itself offered those same spiralling visuals, the same sense of understanding, the same darkness and light, mixed with an unwarranted dose of alienation. It sounded magical in a way I’d heard of contemporary music being described as at the time. Music like No Age, Burial, Kode 9, Growing, Fuck Buttons or to a certain extent Brian Eno. This led me on a path of to discover wider and more disparate music from Krautrock to certain Bowie albums and the shoegaze period of the early nineties; all this seemed somehow as if they were acting in unison, and then here was this great stranger in the darkness, a hip-hop artist that somehow emulated these sounds and the ideas that come from them.

I’d started reading J.G Ballard previously to this experience and it wasn’t until his death in early 2009 that I started to connect the dots. Suddenly I recognised that Ballard’s dystopian futures had somehow introduced themselves like a computer virus into the very music I was listening to. It was everywhere. The press were continually talking about the link between dubstep and Ballard, that future music was ingrained in the idea of a lost world, either a sprawling urban wasteland or a overgrown jungle infesting itself within the former cities of the world. Questions were beginning to arise about the nature of otherworld in dub; the squelchy, warm bass vibrations, were they not indicative of man’s psychological need to return to the womb? Had we not gone too far? Had man brought about his own destruction and was this not precursor of that destruction?

Well these questions resonated perfectly within FlyLo’s music. LA 1X3 is a dub-influenced voyage. Detaching itself from its birth-mother, the mostly chilled, beat-centred Los Angeles, it takes a great leap into a future-dub sound possibly finding some sort of inspiration in his, at the time, recent collaboration with Kode 9 for Rinse FM. What we find then is an EP of great imagination firing out this simple and effective energy, the slow and oscillating movement of dub. And with the dub, a whole reading of the future, of a man made, ugly, noisy city, reacting to the apathy of the urban and the nature of the twisted metropolis with all its tenebrous corners and alleyways, and with YOU as the subject, a stranger in the multitude. Paper Crane Gang embodies this perhaps more than anything on the EP. A repetitive lonesome beat is surrounded by successions of looping bleeps and noises, out of which more descriptive sounds are born, some more vibrant and enticing than others, but all masked in the unforgiving and relentless crackle that is so familiar in FlyLo’s work.

Flying Lotus – Paper Crane Gang

Rickshaw too is worth a quick mention, bringing in a world music/internationalist feel to the EP. Its central beat vies with an Ek-Tara (one-stringed traditional instrument from the Indian subcontinent) aligning the sprawling highways of LA with the burgeoning economy and increasing urbanisation of India to prescribe a universalism to this bleak world view.

Flying Lotus – Rickshaw

However, the production manages to keep it all fresh and alive, not dead or atrophying to the point of nonexistence. Somehow there is a light in there and it occurs through manipulation with the hardware and the corresponding software. Programming has never sounded so free and loose as if the beat is floating on this backdrop of white-noise. The Universe is calling out and the beat just plays, free and effortless like a jazz band turning and weaving to the crackling thrum. One critic described it as being both ‘figurative and abstract’; beat and wave. Somehow it all just exists there illusory and yet quite real.

LA 2X3 opens with a undeniable beat, cascading along, propelling the 2nd EP into more turbulent waters. Here the futurism is remixed, understood by peers that apprehend FlyLo’s flow. So, track one is a remix of RobertaFlack by Martyn (known for his collaboration with Kode 9, an abundance of releases and remixes + more) who takes it into a 2-step/DnB vibe which in turn transforms the vocals lifting them from the murky depths into something of a deep house feel. As it progresses it becomes clear that Martyn has taken it from the bedroom to the club, thus becoming a synergy of the world around it. The very essence of so called intellectual electronica reasons that the two, both bedroom and dancefloor, are part of the same thing, and with additional elements, i.e. the propulsive beat, can move the bed to the club and vice versa. And so here we have it, transformation complete.

Flying Lotus – RobertaFlack (Martyn’s Heart Beat Mix)

Unlike the first EP, all the tracks here are remixes, and so of course it has an endless life and a whole globe of expansion. It becomes a parallax; Los Angeles understood from different viewpoints that create artificial imaginings of the real thing. We get Glaswegian Mike Slott (from LuckyMe, textual adventurers and hip-hop/electronica explorers) turning RobertaFlack into a bugged out and immersive hip-hop world. Different again from Martyn’s version or FlyLo’s original, this is like a wave of sound filtering out the rest of the world and leaving only the fractured, crackling remains.

Flying Lotus – RobertaFlack (Mike Slott’s Other Mix)

Quarta 330 is a Japanese producer, specialising in 8-bit sound and chiptune techniques. His take on FlyLo’s Auntie’s Lock/Infinitum is a real highlight of the EP. Bringing in elements of seemingly unconventional sounds to FlyLo’s more hazy, washed out noise brings out some of the colour that lies underneath. Held together by FlyLo’s all-seeing eye, this parallaxian image is defined not only through his unique sound but by his peers observance of it.

Flying Lotus – Auntie’s Lock/Infinitum (Quarta 330 Remix)

As we pass through to his final EP and the last stretch of this sound-experiment, it is worth questioning the value of the pieces as a series. Alone they make remarkable pieces of music, although I wonder whether they would have the same value without such an astonishingly fresh album to work from in Los Angeles, but they do tend to lack cohesion. 1 and 2 both seem slightly disparate in sections, perhaps lacking a coherent direction in production. However it is number 3 alone that seems to have a uniquely binding sound; it wrestles itself from Los Angeles in a wave of droning ambience which is tied together by the two new tracks: Endless White and Spin Cycle. It’s got the strength of hallucinogenics, a full powered trip that forces you to float in waves of appreciation.

Flying Lotus – Endless White

Testament (Breakage’s Bill’s Suit Mix) leans on the grimy edge of shoegaze, exploring the distorted guitar sounds of My Bloody Valentine held together by reverberating drums and skewed vocals. There is a wonderful harmony that runs throughout the third EP, as if FlyLo composed much of it himself or took a dictatorial role in the creation of the remixes. They’re all so lush and otherwordly, all languid in pace and reflexive in attitude. It’s like FlyLo wished to distinguish the final EP by transforming it into a meditation of the series as a whole, bringing up sounds that are reminiscent of the earlier EPs (Auntie’s Harp – Rebekah Raff Remix is hauntingly Indian sounding) but are now in complete metamorphosis – or if you will, in a stage that is of their past but readying for a new future.

Flying Lotus – Testament (Breakage’s Bill’s Suit Mix)

And that is how we should view the whole series. As a stage in the life of Flying Lotus the artist, from one vital re-imagining to the next. A brooding, dark, textural stage that was influenced, and was influential upon, the music that was prevalent at the time. Now as he’s set to release his latest work it feeds upon new blood giving significant energy to his emerging creations.

Stephen Smith

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In-depth: the life and works of William Cody Watson

Prolific and inspiring, William C. Watson is the creator of Pink Priest. Pink Priest is a particularly dark understanding of the world in which we live, a drone project that takes no prisoners and holds nothing back. His haunting and ethereal noise is disturbingly different from his peers who, while exist within a similar template, offering up burning, saturated tracks with heavily effected vocals, Pink Priest doesn’t necessarily gravitate towards the easy-listening. This is music for contemplation, for deep meditation and lengthy listening sessions. Coupled with this is a seemingly never-ending stream of releases that bear witness to the man’s ingenuity and creative power. I’ve counted at least 26 Pink Priest releases through numerous small-time record labels, mostly distributing on tape (ever popular with drone artists, two sides/cheap to make), within the two years of PPs creation.

Pink Priest’s work span numerous theoretical ideas of drone music, from the hypnagogic ideas of waking dreams through to escaping to some meditative plateau where music becomes like the wind softly humming in the background. You will often find samples deep within there, including a recording from the Jonestown suicide cult deaths that shocked America nearly thirty years ago, resonating with reality in some specific way. Drone covers a space that other music finds it hard to do, because of it’s nature it is contemplative, fitting into a whole number of realities, both dark and light. Field of Orgasms appears on his East Camden tape and vibing off of his previous release Cat Tails//At the Mouth of Swollen Summer is a burnt-out summer-psychedelia track. It’s where Pink Priest finds himself at his most accessible and relaxed as the summer chill fills the record with a warmth rarely seen in his work.

To offer a contrasting account then is all too easy. This is Sleep Ranger, taken off of Endless Love, it fizzes with a haunting electronic atmosphere, created through dreamy synths and ghostly vocals. It’s atmospheric to an absolute constituting a very pure form of music because it tries to replicate environments that are universal.

William C. Watson has record under a myriad of names too, each reflecting their own character and sound. He has written under the moniker Malibu Wands (two LPs – Crafting and Raw Dagger), an even darker affair full of disorientating noise, high pitched squeals and the trademark haunting sound. Raw Dagger sees Malibu Wands at his most experimental and bewildering. Where the first release, Crafting, was raw and unstable, a dark and brooding experience with two ten minute sides, Raw Dagger finds itself in 6 separate parts all with their own unique soundscape. Disorientation is a big part of the Malibu Wands sound, ironically juxtaposed by the title which sounds all too warming. There’s a kind of continual headache to MW like when comforting environs start exhibiting over-familiar traits that slowly begin to grate with you. Check out Summer Crosses for an intro into that dark world:

Mailbu Wands – Summer Crosses

From dark, haunting drone then, to ambient luminous noise. Under the name Wild Safari W. C Watson released Cave Sequins, a tropical, lo-fi psychedelic album similar I think to Ashra’s Sunrain, and perhaps similar to Jeans Wilder’s recent work. More accessible this time and a perfect summer record to trip the hell out to.

And while there are numerous other collaborations/remixes and side-projects to focus on I think it would be most interesting to look at his Hexes mixtapes. Now in it’s third incarnation (1,2,3), Hexes is a slimy approach the world of remixes, as Pink Priest and his sometimes Hexes partner Party Trash collate dark and haunted remixes of PPs work from various artists such as DRUGS, Blissed Out, DLCXVI and the aforementioned Jean Wilder. Introducing elements of dance, dub, broken rhythms and psychedelia to his work brings out unique qualities, and as each artist interprets and changes the style of the track it becomes apparent how natural it all is. Unheard melodies are driven out of the darkness and appear naked in the light just as introduced rhythms find a congenital rhythm hidden within the bleakness.

Epic Lean (JUVE edit) provides a perfect snapshot of this. Bleak and broken rhythms transform the song and find something buried within, a rhythmic beauty hidden in the depths of nature.

Pink Priest – Epic Lean (JUVE edit)

William C. Watson co-runs Bathetic Records, a drone and noise based label, working predominately with tape releases. He also writes for Impose Magazine under the title Never Waking Up and runs a influential blog entitled God of Blues. If you’re after a wealth of his work, head over to his blog and check out the rest of the side-projects/collaborations not mentioned within this piece.

While you’re doing that you can check out this ghostly/ghost of Christmas past video to his track Wolf Club or Witch Hunt, which appeared on the LP Endless Love.

Stephen Smith

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