Ekoplekz EkoplekzStalag Zero / ?Distended Dub
PUNCH DRUNK (drunk20, 12” + digital)
After twenty releases it’s very easy to start this review blindly: Punch Drunk, new signing, Bristol, pure dubstep, Jamaican connections, etc. But no: what the puzzling Ekoplekz, a local producer about whom little more is known other than his alias and his heritage –who could be, as far as we know, someone well-known under a new nickname, or a new and anonymous producer– comes up with is something different entirely. Let’s talk about that heritage: Ekoplekz is an affair of analogue experimentation in the tradition of the 70s, way before we had software, a time when the currents of academic experimental music, the first echo chamber dub, the audio effects for radio, library music, proto-industrial music and the electro-acoustic school were still up in the air. Surprised? No wonder. There’s not a trace of club music on this vinyl and it’s two tracks ( “Stalag Zero” and “Distended Dub”), not even some dubstep to hold on tight to. But there are very intriguing connections with artists who in their day were dark and radical: Chris Carter, Cabaret Voltaire, John Baker, The Normal. Modular and granular synthesis, eruptions of unpolished audio, primitive electronica that sounds like the soundtrack to a lunar landscape, a return to the original British machine music which, granted, appears on the label that’s not closely related to that vintage scene, not like imprints such as Trunk or Twisted Nerve, but which is an interesting new starting point for Punch Drunk, the label that’s now struck a balance with the compilation “Worth The Weight”. By the way, the 12” is limited to 300 copies. And when it’s gone, it’s gone.