REVIEW: Various – Inversions 001 (INV001 – 2016)
For a moment, the world goes upside down in the first, various artists release from Inversions which is Power Vacuum’s new sublabel. What is expected to be another night out in the company of synthetic beat worshippers turns to a vintage-minded party to trigger enthusiastic exclamations from mature audiences and their sympathisers in music. And good so.
Everything seems under the control during the first half of Cavern Of Anti-Matter’s “Bring The Hiss (Version)”. Although it’s not quite the parent label’s standard fare – such as acidic squeeze by EDMX or rowdy electro by Cylob – the track still opens as a retro techno hardware slammer from the 1990s UK hangars. All of a sudden, the raving adolescents are pushed aside and Woodstock’s spirit shows the way to a dusty prog and blues lounge, maintained by the group consisting of former Stereolab members Tim Gane, Joe Dilworth and synth guy Holger Zapf.
Then the baton is passed to kaleidoscopic psychedelia practised by wild organ and guitars in “5 Minute Break” by Booze, a project of Power Vacuum’s Milo Smee and Demian Castellanos and Fupper (Simon Hughes) is feeling high in the flower power camp, performing a folk tune with skinny percussion in “I’m Fine Little Man”.
Inversions founders Smee and Thomas Franklin are behind the duo Clean & Jerk to give us “Silhouette du Barry”, a tune with jazzy, melodic notes and sudden tempo jumps for a more intense feel and in “Escape To The Black Cloud”, Holger Hartmann’s Apothéose de la Trahison rolls out an offbeat drone session with overdriven guitars.
Thus the Inversions debut is essentially a prog rock and psychedelia compilation where 1960-1970s experts would draw several parallels with the tunes of that era. With a release that sounds pretty radical compared to the electronic stuff around us, Power Vacuum’s U-turn brings fresh air to the established structures.