DEARLY DEPARTURE “GENESIS” CS (SILK110) $7
Santa Clarita daydreamer Daniel Crook flipped his DX-7 to dent tuition at California Institute Of The Arts but while there fell in with a crew of fellow hardware heads and began making periodic pilgrimages downtown to soak the city’s thriving warehouse scene. His own productions soon followed, inspired by the moodier fringes of LA’s nocturnal underground as well as the “dark gothic energy” of certain fatalist new wave.
Genesis spans 40 minutes across eight tracks, crisscrossing stained glass house, lovesick jack, and varied states of rhythm delirium into a raw, reflective self-portrait of empty streets and midnight memories. Crook’s process is part planned and part exploratory, mapping melody in advance then ripping live takes at a table of synths in his bedroom. From cobwebbed dub-dance (“Serpent”) to cyber-mechanical disco (“Move”), the songs feel intuitive and imprecise, grainy screengrabs of systems in flux. Most are solo instrumentals but Crook’s classmate Bludwork guests on the sci-fi sequencer trance “Infrared” while local morbid beauty duo Morticia My Angel haunt the mic for “Words Unspoken.” Even his own voice makes an appearance on “Own Perceptions,” mixed into a glimmering grey haze: “I don’t know what to do with me / no more.” Mastered by Matt Tammariello.
OLSEN “DREAM OPERATOR” CS (SILK109) $8
Manchester miasma-house specialist Andrew Anderton aka Olsen sculpts swirling, stream-of-consciousness rhythms inspired by subliminal perception, hyperspace anime, and reflections on how the mind works. His latest is also his haziest, tracked at home on analog synths bathed in echo, tape-hiss, and found sounds, conjuring a liminal realm between sleep and reality ruled by a shadowy figure: the Dream Operator. Opaque acid, mumbling voices, and decayed keys whisper in the periphery, tethered by black hole bass, a narcoleptic kick, and dusty claps. This is music for “the space between,” where the dream operator takes control, and “shows you an image of a tree, soft fruit growing… night falls, and the black dog serenade continues.” Compelling contemporary warehouse noir by a producer poised for heady depths. Mastered by Matt Tammariello.
PRECIPITATION “EARTH / SKY” CS (SILK103) $7
The latest capsule collection from pensive Vancouver visionist Zefan Sramek aka Precipitation presents a more binary take on overcast house and half-light ambience, split between a rhythmic “earth” side and a smeared cirrus “sky” side. Tracked live to tape and padded with Pacific Northwest field recordings of rainy forests and wet meadows, the pieces soar, sink, and spiral like small birds blown by the wind, isolated and adrift. Past cuts for Ville Nouvelle (in the duo Aquatic Language) and Jungle Gym have shown Sramek’s versatility with vignette melody and soft-focus atmospherics but Earth / Sky distills them even further, into a muted, melancholic expanse of elemental conditions and emotive hypnosis. Mastered by Eric Hanson. Video stills by Zefan Sramek.
HUBERT CLARKE JR “AL DENTE” 12″ (SILK083) $10
Impressionistic dub-house devotee Hubert Clarke Jr. fluctuates through several deviations of Sydney afterhours circuit specialties on his debut, Al Dente. Alternately wired and unwound, classic and contempo, vibed soul and lean house, the EP threads soft-focus funk into longform live voyages, naturalist emotion, dance as relaxed delirium. The vocal samples (“I’m not into this to be traveling around the world / I’m not into this to impress anybody”) evoke a mood of reflective idealism, spirits undiminished, hope in spite of it all. Dusted with memories and reveries of Heavenly, Picnic, and Mad Racket parties, hallucinated Omar-S demos, newer Sex Tags sides, and various nations under a groove, HJC’s 4 originals (plus a remix by Adelaide vibe squad MBM) feel like a beginning, a submerged energy swelling to the surface. Black vinyl 12 inches in stickered sleeves designed by Peta Farago with smiley meatball illustrations by John-Henry Pajak and Geordie Cargill. Mastered by Eric Hanson. Edition of 175.
SILK: THE FILM – DIGITAL RENTAL & PURCHASE
(via VHX) $1.99 / $6.99 / $7.99
SILK, the 100% Silk documentary and dance film, is available through VHX and Amazon Instant Video. Shot over two years, the film follows four acts from the label – LA Vampires, Ital, Magic Touch and Maria Minerva – across a lengthy 2012 tour of the UK, Europe and Russia. SILK chronicles the performances, environments, and scenes they passed through: congested underground Parisian clubs, motorcycle showrooms in Bristol, abandoned industrial lots in Moscow, afterhours Berlin compounds, re-purposed World War II gun towers in Hamburg, plus large international festivals (Distortion in Copenhagen, Sonar in Barcelona). The film is punctuated by staged dance sequences conceived, choreographed, and performed by Mecca Vazie Andrews and the Los Angeles Contemporary Dance Company. SILK premiered in 2013 at CPH:DOX in Copenhagen and subsequently screened at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark, as well as la Gaîte Lyrique in Paris. SILK was an official selection at the 2014 Amsterdam Dance Event, Melbourne International Film Festival, and Planete + Doc Film Festival in Poland. The SILK: DELUXE package includes the film as well as four exclusive live sets from the tour by each of the featured acts.