Allison Chanic - Painlessly In Love

          Forthwith threnodial dreamlike instances of a sound garbed in lamentation and introspection; ‘Painlessly In Love’, by Allison Chanic, embodies these qualities in its avant-garde vocals, its fixed tempo of kick drums beating like mallets of temporality in the atemporal cosmos of suppressed hi-hats, dreary pads, and pitched effects. Lakker’s remix treads on similar ground, retaining the vocal hum and complementing it with a heavier kick pattern and hi-hats resonating like smitten anvils, while introducing a rich sci-fi synth line that lingers in the mind pleasantly after listening. ‘Realm’ is as engaging as it is enigmatic, swishing about in a cauldron of disparate sonic ingredients; the constant siren-like sound begets an underlying dread; the various glitching and bursting effects embroider the track with an impressive artificial sheen, which is contrasted by the stereo whispers and spells of organic drumming.

Label: Bedouin Records
Release Date: February 2014
Format: 12”
300 limited copies / 180g vinyl only 

Written & Produced by Allison Chanic
Remixed by D. Smith & I. McDonnell
Mastered by Jason Gosling at Transition
Distributed by Honest Jon’s Records
Design by Laios Papazoglou
Photography by Esmat Rabi
Logo by Georgia Arvaniti
Label logo by Asma Saif

Article by: Jason Nikolaidis

Salem Rashid x Pareidolia

          Two magi trudge over and under porous sand, trekking thoughtfully without pause. Their cinnamon coloured boots leave symmetrical tracks that tattoo the smooth desert dunes; winds abate, the dunes seem to approve of the designs. They wear loose white cloaks, tied in place by a yellow sash around the waist. Ascending the bronze staircases etched in the oriental skin of ancient alluvial plains, they fly upwards like hallowed doves. Atop the perilously great mound is an equally vast platform composed of glittering granite, absolutely dark, but twinkling with elemental stars, drawn from inexplicable subterranean lairs. The glossy sheen is reinforced by the light of the midday Sun, illuminating patterns of galaxies and adding countless more stars on the jet black surface. The magi hoist themselves upon the scalding platform, their boots almost melting in the process. They do not seem to be affected, not even a trickle of sweat can be seen. Centered in the middle is a simple table with two stools and two ceramic mugs filled with a swirling liquid that looks impossibly hot and cold at the same time. The two figures sit and indulge in the drink, falling into a majestic trance that commits their bodies to a dance like no other. Tidal sound waves are produced from the incredible power of the dance, and this is what my feeble mind can recollect hearing and imagining, while hiding under the shade of nearby palms.

          The sound of a guitar and a young singing voice interrupts the overdrawn hegemony of silence; some cacti appear surprised, their thorns tensing in one short push, then immediately easing back in their slits. From afar they resemble sentries who are finally granted some leave – relaxed and mirroring the slow movement of the magi. Accompanying this tranquil arrangement are slow drums, and a light bass line that sow the fields for what is to come. Flutes and horns blow like night winds or dire wolves, howling and prowling through dangerous woods, migrating southwards in pursuit of depleted herds of mammoth. Erratic drums follow closely behind, punctuated by tactical phrases uttered by stealthy hunters. They catch up and engage a mammoth in the thickest part of the forest, taking the mighty beast down in the throes of disorientation, unused to the tight space of huddled trees. In celebration, an urban uplifting jazz tune plays, complete with catchy plucked bass and crackling snare rims. I can envisage the hunters roasting the meat in a makeshift shelter nestled in a crude oaken corner, with smiles of nourishment in trying times.Having eaten their fill, they gather and use the wooly mane as bedding, sleeping their first dream-filled sleep ever since migrating from the safety of the tundra caves. In their dreams they hear morose and candid ballads of love sang by tender tones and piano lines. Repose is brief and shattered violently; they have been spotted by those who dwell in the heart of the forest. Silhouettes of rigid bark; wooden humanoids allied with the sanctity of the trees – they make their approach under the cover of rustling leaves and apprehensive melody. In the ensuing skirmish I hear the reverberation of shouts, the distressing calls of birds, and an unchallenged drum pattern that carries with it the weight and life experiences of two clashing worlds. The hunters are defeated and left with no survivors, the sounds and my visions abruptly end.

          I put up a brave front and peek at the magi from my hiding spot. They had stopped their vehement dancing and slumped forwards, heads down on the rickety table. They couldn’t be dead, could they? Just as I try to get my bearings over what is going on, two other individuals – a woman and a man – appear next to the magi. They wear resplendent Bedouin clothing, with such complex threading and embroidery of reds, purples, whites, and gilded yellows that I fear I might leap out of my spot to take a closer look. In fact, I think I can see my name stitched on the fibers! Am I going mad? Is this some desert contrived pareidolia? Pull yourself together!

          To my astonishment, first the woman, then the man starts performing traditional serenades for the dunes, with voices that kick up dust devils from convoluted canyons. I lie back and uncork my gourd, swimming in smuggled wine from Roman merchants in Damascus. As I close my eyes and take a few hearty swigs, I am surprised by the disciplined structure of a gamelan orchestra; xylophones, bamboo rods and flutes, gongs supported on temple twine. At the close of the orchestra’s ensemble I open my eyes and take another look at the platform. The sun has dipped beneath the horizon, leaving behind a crescent moon that marvels at the esoteric pockets of human ingenuity. I am left enthralled by this sight and on the whim of my inebriation I decide to scale the mound and join in the festivities. Close to the platform I spot the two original magi whom I feared were dead, now renewed and dancing with amplified vigour. They see me but do not react; I feel a force welling up in my chest, a power that might erase me or embrace me. The music takes an accordingly anxious turn, with a heavy sub bass and drums that sting and bite, inoculating me against something stronger. Unable to resist the energy that builds up within, I fall into a trance and join the Bedouins and magi in their conjuring. Where the spiritual contours of this mound may lead is a mystery to me, yet I rejoice in the splendour of this divine music.

Article by: Jason Nikolaidis          

Podcast 19: Morkebla

          Morkebla derives his moniker from Norwegian for ‘‘dark blue’’, and like a gestalt of Nordic estuaries crisscrossed with vermillion sea creatures, invites us to peer into his imaginative biosphere, treating us with an organic mix of selections drawn from his mind’s reclusive outpost. Based in Italy, with an EP out on the Spanish label - ‘Fracaso’, and a forthcoming release on Milan’s ‘Haunter Records’, Morkebla gives credence to his name, gliding into view with his own tracks drawn from a reservoir of past influences, encompassing Krautrock, Ambient, and Noise.

          A mariner voyages through crescent waves and dodges blows of vindictive winds, embittered by the encroachment of the lone sailor into aquatic backdrops not meant to meet the discernment of the human eye. Pushing the groaning scaffolding of his ship further through the reaches of this damned place, the resistance only gains fervour, until, with a snap, the ship breaks in two, siphoning his body into the lambent maelstrom of foaming waters, made luminescent by the harvest moon.

          The soundtrack of his struggle to stay alive begins with Popol Vuh, a fitting starting point, as he vigorously stacks himself above the currents, contemplating past deeds and pondering on creation and destruction, much like the Guatemalan mythical narrative did. Through the thin walls of life and death, cries of high and low voices leak out, in the form of ‘Forest Sword’s’ – ‘Gathering’, while the tranquility of Hobo Cubes’ – ‘Water Body’ mirrors his letting go into the prescience of the tide. Inundated lungs expand as consciousness retracts, finding shelter in discorporate territories demarcated by the sounds of ‘OOBE’ and ‘Offthesky’, their astral notes offering some temporary repose. Tunneling out of murky planes, ‘These Hidden Hands’ pick him up with duplicitous chords of hope, and throw him into the strange void. John Carpenter’s ‘Orientation’, paired with Deep Space Network’s ‘Psyphonic’, perfectly conjures and conveys those emotions of bewilderment and vacuity, as the mariner aimlessly moves like solar driftwood. A ‘Veiled Hermit’ appears to be drifting alongside him, whispering scrambled riddles in tongues not meant to be heard by sane beings, as time flickers like a paradoxical zoetrope in a ‘Slow Motion Time-Lapse’. In the final moments that he can recollect, he recalls a great jolt and the regaining of consciousness, awoken by a travelling ship’s lifebuoy, ‘Plucked From The Ground, Towards The Sun’. From those winded hours spent battling for his life he vows to never set sail to those dark blue waters ever again.

Fill in the blanks….

If there was one change I could make in the world, it would be let it breathe by making more silence.

A track I almost always love to include in my sets is Salem - “Redlights” (even if I do not make many dj sets but I play live most of the time).

One of my favourite hobbies is going for a walk into the woods.

Tracklist:

Popol Vuh - Aguirre III

Forest Swords - Gathering

Hobo Cubes - Water Body

Barn Owl - Against the Night

Offthesky - Meditae I

OOBE - SFTCR V

These Hidden Hands - Ivy

Deep Space Network - Psyphonic

John Carpenter - Orientation

Morkebla - The Veiled Hermit (Forthcoming on Haunter Records)

Wanda Group - O A (SRS 13)

XIII - Slow-Motion_Time-Lapse 

Huerco S. - Plucked From The Ground, Towards The Sun

LINKS:

SOUNDCLOUD

FACEBOOK

          It’s with great pleasure that we feature a track of Chicago’s DJ Taye, a militant member of the Teklife crew, pioneers and propagators of the footwork sound, sowing its seeds worldwide. From the outset we are treated with a soothing layered voice and the lead synth setting the scene for the shuddering bass sauntering around our ears, left to right, spliced with rowdy hi-hats and jaunty snares. Pharrell’s  vocal samples throughout the track add to the overall lively vibe and juice up your legs for the dance.  Overall, it feels like a celebration with good friends condensed into one track, so be sure to check it out, and the rest of the work from Taye & Teklife.