Ekoplekz – Intrusive Incidentalz Vol 1 (Punch Drunk LP and digital)
More vinyl promo goodness from the Ekoplekz camp puts a big stupid grin on my face. The many moods of Ekoplekz are becoming slightly more apparent over time. This is much more aggy, more urgent than the Live at Dubloaded LP I reviewed last month. (And the standard disclaimer still applies – I am biased. Pro-Ekoplekz.) The tracks are shorter, generally denser, and less spacey. The lo-fi improvised electronic signatures remain.
Punch Drunk’s press blurb says that Nick’s “retro futurism” is tempered with a “post-dubstep sensibility” which makes me cringe a bit and I think is oversimplifying things (although I fully understand that is what a one-sheeter is supposed to do). Intrusive Incidentalz is less about influences and homages and more about intersecting paths in a maze. Bits that recall vintage Throbbing Gristle to an old fart like me will conjur up something completely different to a teenager just falling under the spell of dubstep or (and you can scoff all you like, but they are out there – I meet their parents!).
One of Richard H Kirk’s best contributions to the Synth Britannia documentary was saying that Cabaret Voltaire were trying to soundtrack the extreme political climate and paranoia of the era they were working in. For Kirk, the Brixton riots were inspirational – finally someone was kicking back. Only the most ardent anarchist would say that the recent riots were inspirational in the same way, but they are a good indicator of where things are headed – of the desperation (and desperate opportunism) the UK is soaked with right now.
Making tracks for the dancefloor is an entirely honourable pursuit in these circumstances and will provide that flash of release during hard times for lots of people. But for me, the wonky pummeling of “Clodsteps” or the woozy splinters of “Psionik Trance” are a more apt soundtrack for September 2011. The sonic continuities with previous eras mesh with the political and social continuities – but so do the variations and innovations. Things are not exactly the same this time around, it’s different – we’re still working through what those differences are and what they mean.
Or perhaps I’m projecting? Nick seems much more down to earth and well balanced than me. Maybe he’s just so well rounded that he’s gone to the trouble of making an album that sounds like how I feel when I have to walk down those grey corridors with a nagging hangover, again. Sometimes I find this album hard to listen to, sometimes I find it hard to write about. Sometimes I sit at my desk, blinking along with the striplights and look forward to submerging myself in it all.
“Intrusive Incidentalz vol 1″ is out now on Punch Drunk. Order vinyl direct from the label and get a free digital copy.
Great cover again by my man 2nd Fade