After a few days getting back to nature we were plunged in to a week of travel and a new level of hecticness reserved for the inner-circle of hell, hence the radio silence over the last seven days. Very pleased to be returning not only with new discoveries from Melbourne, but also to a few welcome deliveries of tapes and wax.
Had to get my hands on this record after Paul dropped a track on our NTS show a few weeks back. It's been some sort of perverse waiting game having not even listened to the previews of the remaining six tracks from the seven on the Code 17 Abstraction plate.
Released on Ana Ott, this is the first time we've come across Michael Valentine West, though it turns out he's got a slew of aliases and has been working behind a load of joints for time. Next steps will be hunting down the rest, because this guy's on to something, and we're possibly just scraping the surface on what he's done.
Every time we open the email we read press releases with fifteen or so genres and influences crammed in, discussing the melting pot of sounds stating it as 'breakthrough'. In reality, the best case scenario is generally a decent record in a genre we like. And while Ana Ott makes no such promised of Michael Valentine West, it would be oddly at home doing so.
Code 17 Abstraction changes direction as often as it strips down it's tracks and rebuilds them. This in-depth soundcrafting using templates from jazz and glitch to put you on an abstract journey with each cut. Across these templates experimental analogue electronics and field workings might drop in and out to set the scene and vibe of joyous franticness and new directions.
Head to the Ana Ott bandcamp to order yourself a copy.
In the past, the composer and musician Michael Valentine West has entered the public under various names such as Twiggy And The K-meson, Suck Susan, Lower Third or Mikimo Sosumi. "Code 17 Abstraction" is the first release under his real name. West mixes electronica and glitch with influences from jazz and drum 'n' bass pieces. A similar musical setting is found in Squarepusher, unlike that West does not seek the abstruse grand gesture. West draws attention to the smallest details, such as mutually evolving, while canceling each other, Rhodes and drum sounds - at least on the first side of the album. For the second is almost completely dominated by "Betsy" - a monster between pulsating Industrial Bass, a freak out in the spirit of Sun Ra and flawless Funk. Rich in contrast and yet completely inherently consistent.
You can locate some obvious elements of Prince, Jamie Lidell and
therefore also Beck in the music of Birmingham-based producer Michael
Valentine West – but it’s as if those elements had been through a
complex journey involving a tour through glitch electronica, late 80s
industrial music, Weather Report, Cameo and Rick James at their most
camp, Brechtian theatre, Jazz Messengers, Nina Hagen, the mothership,
and back to Aphex Twin’s house for a cuppa afterwards.
Released on French electronic music label Bedroom Research and [well worth a listen] if you like your music beautiful, intelligent and deeply
twisted. And who doesn’t?