One Long Conundrum EP
Released: Tuesday 19 June 2012
A scratchy work of obtuse electro-funk, ' One Long Conundrum', the track which makes up the meat of this EP, tips its hat to Can drummer Jaki Liebezeit in its clattering, jazzy beats and slow, twisting build-up. Its fidgety live feel is augmented by sudden intrusions of squelching, skronking electronics, which gradually add tension until it kind of sounds like - don't laugh - some kind of jazz-grime hybrid. Can you, er, dig that? It's a good thing.
The rest of the EP is made up of remixes. Sculpture's remix of 'Wet Tongue' is a great fusion of ambient sounds, dubby atmospherics and jazz percussion. It doesn't do much, just hangs around in a way reminiscent of Cluster's more ambient works, which is obviously wonderful. Crewdson's remix of 'Dead Skin', meanwhile, is the most unusual, inventive and brilliant thing on the EP. A warped take on smooth r&b, complete with autotuned, soullessly sexy vocal, it appears to be a love song to - yes - some dead skin, and is thus morbid, hilarious and oddly erotic-sounding all at once. The skittering beats are roughed up by some thoroughly inappropriate brass interjections, the vocal pitch-shifts and bounces around the rhythm, and everything grinds to a glitchy halt before breaking into an a cappella reprise of the chorus. It's fucking genius, actually.
Although nothing else on the EP quite matches 'Dead Skin', the remaining two remixes are both strong. Robert Logan's remix of 'Stop Machine' is a relentlessly linear glitch-workout which starts like an 8-bit version of the Terminator theme before evolving into a superb dirty electro track. 'Loophole (Rome Pays Off Remix)', which rounds off the EP, is an anthemic, big beat-ish instrumental which dissolves mid-way through into fuzzed-up finger-picking. You think the beat's going to come back to whack you over the head, but no, it just disintegrates into lonely static. A brave end to an outstanding EP.