Ekoplekz / Wanda Group – Dead Escalator Suite / Slow Down Your Blood (Further Records – 2012)
If the demand for tape decks would skyrocket, Seattle’s Further Records is a culprit behind the trend. They come again with several cassette releases, which are, for the not-so-cools, available in digital too.
Two artists have contributed to a split album. It’s opened by Ekoplekz of Mordant Music fame, who in “Dead Escalator Suite” loads the A-side with dub mash-up in an abandoned dancehall. After stumbling over dead wires on the floor, distortion knobs are found and the rhythm powered by fire-spitting engines. Combining excerpts of urban noise with rusty electronics, the track offers demanding polyrhythmic moments with mechanical hum and roar, occasionally soothed by melancholic synths. The track partly reminds of The KLF’s “Chill Out” and, in the case of rhythm parts, of Pan Sonic.
In “Slow Down Your Blood”, Wanda Group presents a collage of loop constructions, velvety bass riffs and deformed electronics. Radio-controlled locusts fall like a pest on the fields, before the night covers a ravine and exhausted hikers struggle to find a way out. About a dozen variations on the theme of repetition for advanced listening experience.