24 January 2013

Lakker - Death Mask EP

Lakker - Death Mask EP (Love Love Records, Out Now)

Despite having put out a long string of (mostly) free downloads for the past four years, Love Love Records have generally escaped my attention until the release of this, their first physical release. Admittedly, their back catalogue deals heavily in breakcore, chip-tune and the more extroverted corners of experimental music that generally err too heavily on the hyperactive, or downright bizarre for my liking - their LoveCore comp has got some great moments though, particularly Scrase's skronky electronica, and their digital-only Kanji Kinetic release is a must for fans of his work. For their first 12", Love Love are releasing an EP from long-running Irish audio-visual artists Lakker, three tracks of far-out techno that constantly threatens to devolve into complete noisecore. A-side LF9 channels a hefty dose of PanSonic, with delicate bleep melodies constantly threatened by washes of redux and distortion, with a meaty kick-snare combo that recalls Forward Strategy Group- it's a stark contrast between delicate electronica and aggressive techno that sets the tone for the rest of the record. Numb on the B-side is similarly based around monotone bleeps, taking a simple four-note pattern and distressing it repeatedly via pitchbend and filter modulation - again, Lakker allow the sounds to veer towards the uncomfortable, but coat it all in an ominous fog of reverb that softens the blow slightly. With the flattened-out 909 kicks and toms leaning more towards the microhouse styles of Farben or Frank Bretschneider than the militant techno of the A-side, the B-side is a much less intense proposition that LF9.

Title track Death Mask is definitely the best of the three however, coming across like Analogue Bubble Bath-era AFX, with breakbeat influence techno formed from electronic feedback and white noise. The chords are lush, the samples distorted and robotic, and the beats follow a recognisably glitchy two-step pattern, all of which are garbled by filters and noise, before breaking back into rich techno again. As with much of Lakker's work, it occupies the far corners of techno, ever so slightly too surreal for most dancefloors, but great listening nonetheless.

Find more Lakker at their tumblr account.

LOVWAX01 - Lakker - Death Mask E.P. from Lakker on Vimeo.

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