"Obsolete Systems" by Red Math opens with a propulsive Kosmische push. Chirping synths and driving rhythms propel this one forward. The next track slows it down and brings, alternatively, haunting and menacing synthscapes, some quite abstract. As side one reveals itself, the sonic landscape diversifies immenseley, the common ground being daring and progressive synthesis. I love this for the same reasons I love Gift Tapes, Draft Tapes, and Spectrum Spools, all labels which share a vision of exploratory synth based sound art. From crackles and drones to loops and stuttering rhythms, Red Math take the listener on a heady ride from the grooves to the cosmos. Side one gets more and more abstract until it ends all too soon. Side two begins with a sonar-like pulse, which is slowly embellished with ancillary sounds and details, conjuring the ambience of an underwater submarine. After a murky swim through more deep, subterranean electronics, the pace picks up, wild screeches and whoops swirl hazily, and the ground shifts again. Very, very compelling stuff.
Another new release on Further, "A Lion's Baptism" by Innercity roars out the gate with a swirling starry haze of blissful electronics, dense, layered and absorbing. This gives way to robotic rhythms which create a slightly industrial mood, cold and entrancing.Finally, shuddering walls of noise surge from the speakers. Like Red Math, Innercity do not settle on a given mood or motif, but carry the listener Further.
Which brings us back to Further Records. I have, for some time now, been on a synth kick, exploring this resurgent area of sound art. But somehow I was unaware of this local label which is fearlessly exposing some fine works of this nature. And for once, everything works. I love the label name, the band names, the album titles, the cover art, the content. Further sent me these test pressings for review when I told them I only review physical formats, and I am so enchanted by them I will be ordering official pressings with the full cover art forthwith. Further, as best I can tell, is a Kirkland based label run by Chloe Harris, who performs and records under the name Raica with Dick Chambers. Rejoice, Seattle!
Investigate Further here: http://furtherrecords.org/music
Innercity blog here: http://innercitydiscography.blogspot.com/