Ekoplekz - Stalag Zero / Distended Dub (Punch Drunk)
Wow. Punch Drunk's 20th release, following on from their four year compilation Worth The Weight (to be reviewed once I get my promo copy) is a massive departure from previous releases. I've loved the stuff Punch Drunk have put out from the likes of Joker, Gemmy, Pinch et al, but this is totally different to anything that's gone before. No syncopated percussion, no wobble bass, no purple wow synths; Ekoplekz makes experimental electronic music with just enough distinct rhythm and percussion to avoid the "noise" bracket. His productions are created using tape recorders, broken electronic equipment and rare analogue machinery, and remind me of Cabaret Voltaire, Throbbing Gristle or Einsturzende Neubauten. Punch Drunk have always been a dubstep label, but the only contemporary of Ekoplekz' warped drones I can think of is the recent Chris Carter re-issue on Optimo music, or the darker works of Machinefabriek. Loop-heavy, squalling electro based around extending and contracting samples that feel like the groaning lungs of some gigantic machine. Awesome.
Limited to 300 copies with the definite disclaimer that "No reissue means no reissue"