DEEP MEDI (MEDI049, 10” + digital)
If you bought the first Old Apparatus 12” (which sold out pretty quickly, as did the repress) and you listen to “Zebulon”, you will probably be very surprised. I know I am. But I do like it. The surprise comes with the fact that the two records sound like they were made by totally different artists. It makes the confusion about the identity (or identities) of the people behind the anonymous project even bigger. Is it one person or is it a collective? Is it an alias shared by different people with different sounds? Because there's a gaping abyss between the bass experimentation of “Old Apparatus”- two ten-minute cuts built from drones, dense ambient and non-dubstep rhythms - and these two new tracks, that are reminiscent of Various Production. Either there's different people involved, or Old Apparatus is a very versatile talent; hence the surprise and hence the liking.
The comparison to Various Production seems appropriate: “Zebulon” is dubstep with Chinese harmonies, crunchy, post-dubstep beats and a folk vocal that is very reminiscent of “13” - the beautiful and enigmatic ballad by the formerly mysterious Ian & Adam. The B-side, “Hammerhand”, features the voice of rapper, Mogwli. It sounds like the kind of grime that has been surfacing in the past few months, moving away from the dirty virulence of official grime. Again, all this is food for speculation. The whole thing (the artwork, the Mala connection, the style-changes) indicates something fishy is going on. Furthermore, without further details, at least two more EPs have been announced for this year. Unnerving.Claude T. Hill Hammerhand (feat. Mowgli)