Low End Lowlife 18.07.11

Matthew Bayfield reports from the life in the low end...

Posted on Jul 18th, 2011 in Features and Interviews, Zomby, 4AD / By Matthew Bayfield
Zomby The end is important in all things. Without death, life would be devoid of value. If time was not perceived to be pressing, would it matter where you were compared to ten years ago? Does the finite amount of time you are given on this earth push you to achieve more, the mind focused on the future? The end goal? Or does the unquantifiable element known as existence prevent you from embodying the moment? Does the future plan nullify the present experience? For people of my age, we are coming to an end of sorts. The end of a saga. The end of a cultural event that has no doubt shaped at least half of the last decade's worth of visual media. A series which has more or less grown up alongside us. Enchanted us. Moved us. Potentially even weaved itself into the very fabric of our childhood. Some may have missed it. Remaining stoic in their refusal to clamber eagerly aboard the relentless bandwagon. Put off by the endless hype of dedicated geeks and the constant gushing of the critics, as their lashings of praise and cries of spectacle merely sounded like the cynical ringing of cash registers. That is a great shame. For now it is gone. The zeitgeist has moved on, and much like Vietnam: "You weren't there man". Yes, sadly my friends, after an entire childhood of companionship and magic the end has come... The BBC has decided to call time on the Robert Lindsey starring, epoch shattering, genre defining 'My Family' ... Sob

But despair we must not my people! As is with all things, we must take stock of the good, and hold it dear, lest it be lost in the winds on the shores of eternity. So, whilst I dance on the grave of the world's shittest sitcom, here are some tunes to be spinning at the wake! First out the six-demon bag this week is the new cut from Bristol bigwigs Applepips. Yes what is currently electronic music's leanest yet most efficient back catalogue has just rolled one deeper with the new Arkist contribution ‘Rendezvous/Fill My Coffee’. The peeps over at 'Pips currently appear to be running on the modus operandi of 'just release good stuff'. With only 15 releases in as many years mining the outskirts of dubstep, house, funky, and any other petty classifications you care to throw about, this pair of tracks continue the label’s upstanding contribution to leftfield tunes. Side A 'Rendezvous' opens with a warm, almost organic feel, not too dissimilar to the noises Four Tet is famed for making. But just as you are starting to sip your green tea and scrunch your toes on the Hessian rug it is whipped out from under you as a booming bass line falls into place and then it's off to the dance floor with a bit of 2-steppin' action which culminates in a wonderful flourish of percussive assault & battery. Over on side B 'Fill My Coffee' is a much more skittering affair, possibly how a caffeine addict must feel when the Kenco is depleted. It wouldn't sound too far from home alongside some of Scuba's bracing Triangulation LP from last year, and is backed by a rich, warm bass, which ties the package off neatly with a gentle wobble and woozy sense of swagger.

Another man known for sudden left turns is Zomby. His new LP Dedication has just been released through 4AD. Who have also helmed releases spanning the ethereal acoustic tunes of Iron & Wine, through the raw passion of The Pixies to the quintessentially British folk works of Stornoway... So clearly a suitable place for the 8-bit squelch sounds of Zomby. then. However, take into account the pedigree of the aforementioned in their respective genres and the recent signing of Joker and the fit might not seem quite so bizarre. Dedication finds Zomby taking his work into a much more melodic environment than previous releases; whereas his 'One Foot Ahead Of The Other EP' was sometimes moved so far from centre it almost became a mash of bleeps and squelches this release is a much more metered and cohesive work. 'Alothea' and 'Black Orchid' continue the dense sounds of that release well but there are steps into a much more gentle, almost melancholic sound such as in the minor key piano lines of 'Basquiat' and 'Resolve'. There is also the collaboration with Animal Collective's Panda Bear, whose spaced out Brian Wilson-esque harmonies provide a perfect calm atop the fidgety Zomby production beneath them. Another pairing that works far better than it should on paper.

Lastly Eglo Records (helmed by Alexander Nut) put out the new track from Funkineven recently entitled 'Roland's Jam'. If you are familiar with the dense electro rhythms of Funkstörung then this piece will fit in nicely alongside their works in both name and form, and rattles along on a wave of synths, wobbly sub and ridiculous disco sounds perfect for banishing the post 'My Family' blues.

Anyways, I'm off to the buffet table to let my sorting hat decide if I'm a be hitting up the quiche or the vol-au-vents. R.I.P old friend... Potter who sorry?