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Meet The Decline | PlayGround | Albums ep

Downliners Sekt

Meet The Decline

9

Artist: Downliners Sekt

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DISBOOT
(dboot:013, 12” + digital)

After the dopamine high, the hangover. On “Meet The Decline”, the contained intensity, the congestion of impressions and energy provoked by the meeting between opposed flavours of the first two parts of the trilogy (two pieces of abstract and hyper-tense bass music that were pure fire inside, sizzling and autistic songs on the verge of spontaneous combustion) give way to a more reserved and demolished kind of humour. From its first title (or titles, as tracks like “Rising Saudade” and “Hockey Nights In Canada” also point at different kinds of urban melancholy), the enigmatic Downliners Sekt allude to states of nostalgia, decline and tiredness as mental material on which four new soundscapes are built that work as the natural continuation of the more explosive and rhythmic “We Make Hits, Not The Public” (Disboot, 2011).

“Meet The Decline” transpires a more intense level of intimacy, mining the states of reserve and introverted reflection in which we seek to soothe a thousand little pains of the soul. The 2-step rhythms are still there, as are the heartbeats of modern urban dub, the sparkles of Berlin-style dub-techno, the grainy ambient outpourings of dubstep and UK garage in their most soulful versions, but the formula contains new elements that almost always come from a non-electronic environment. “All I Can Hear” is driven by dub, with a syncopated 2-step beat, but then come the guitars in the vein of Derek Bailey, and the voice (a voice with female traces which, despite being manipulated, is more sensual and corporeal then in previous chapters). Deep down, the song is as close to the bass continuum as it is to the deconstructed blues and folk of Ignatz or Keijo. “Rising Saudade” transmits a warmer and dreamier feeling, crossing echoes of dream-pop, broken and crackling dub in the vein of Pole, post-dubstep rhythms and layers of heavenly ambient. In its turn, “Locked Faces” starts vaguely and humidly, somewhat reminiscent of Hood or Bark Psychosis, though quickly the soulful rhythm and moods arrive to push the track in the direction of dub(step), connecting the dots between Burial and Rhythm & Sound, Pariah and Deepchord, and Pangaea and the Jan Jelinek of “Loop-Finding-Jazz-Records”. The end comes with “Hockey Nights In Canada”, crepuscular ambient drones (think Tim Hecker’s pieces for guitar and organ), decorated with acoustic guitars and percussion played with brushes. All in all, four tracks that reinforce the emotional charge of the Downliners Sekt universe, without losing the intrigue and experimental audacity they’ve already shown on previous deliveries. A great ending to an excellent trilogy.

Luis M. Rguez

“All I Can Hear Now”

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