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mark fell - UL8
Mark Fell albums are like busses – you spend ages waiting for one, then two come at once. ‘UL8’ arrives just a couple of weeks after the fantastic ‘Multistability’ set for Raster Noton and, dare we say it, takes his sound even further into the outer reaches of glacial, rhythmic experimentation. With SND, Fell has tended to explore the hidden complexities of stripped rhythms, juxtaposing them with disorientating tones and digital noise – here this theme is taken to the next logical stage as his pounding percussive patterns transform slowly over their duration, flipping their pitch and rhythm with little fanfare. Fell exhibits an impressive ability to pull apart early Chicago house rhythms and acid house forms and transform them into something wholly alien. The percussion is edged into almost Autechre-like realms of abstraction but never loses its particular sonic signature. Similarly, when experimenting with acid sounds, Fell takes the well-weathered analogue squelch into territories rarely heard. Florian Hecker (who is slyly referenced on ‘Acids In The Style of Rian Treanor') might have taken the form to even more uncompromising extremes, but by dialling back the complexity, and leaving in a trace of sonic provenance, Fell’s explorations acquire a multi-fuctional quality that's pretty much unparalleled in modern electronic music. He re-wires dancefloor music while nodding to his academic forefathers - without even a whiff of pretension. The album ends with Fell's most full-bodied production since SND's "Circa 1666" was released on the second Clicks and Cuts compilation almost a decade ago, and rounds off a diverse, hugely captivating listening experience with some style. 2010 might just have been the year of Editions Mego, and ‘UL8’ is the perfect conclusion to an extremely impressive run. Don't miss.