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nick edwards (ekoplekz) - Plekzationz
Since launching his Ekoplekz project a couple of years back, West Country boy Nick Edwards has released records on such esteemed imprints as Mordant Music, Perc Trax, Punch Drunk, Public Information and Further. To celebrate his signing to Peter Rehberg's Editions Mego, Edwards has even ditched the Ekoplekz handle, reverting to his real world name - possibly a gesture of seriousness or a newfound confidence, but also a nod to a self-released cassette he put out as Nick Edwards in 1994, the first public document of his long-standing interest in dub, industrial and toolbox electronics. Still, make no mistake - as its title suggests, Plekzationz is very much an Ekoplekz album, albeit the rangiest and most evolved to date, and it even sounds - dare we say it - definitive. A double-album comprised of four roughly quarter-hour pieces, it finds Edwards working with his by now well-established set-up of analogue hardware and 4-track cassette. 'Chance Meets Causality Uptown' is the opener, and thoroughly representative of Edwards' ability to reconcile Tubby-style dub science with caustic noise and the kind of agitated synth motifs you might expect to find on a cold wave record reissued by Vinyl-On-Demand. '(No) Escape From '79' uses a low-slung, Cabs-style machine groove as a launchpad to explore the outer limits of krautrock and kosmische dreamscaping, channeling the swarming drone-techno of Vibracathedral Orchestra and Astral Social Club along the way. 'Inside The Analog Continuum' is, at its heart, driven by a dubstep rhythm, but one so corroded and submerged under sheets of noise that you barely even clock it, while 'A Pedant's Progress' is an epic of beatless industrial splatter reminiscent of 'Plekz's lesser-formed early work. It's a neatly circular conclusion to a fantastic album, one which we reckon will appeal to many of those who have maybe been a bit sceptical about Edwards' stuff to date. The long track lengths really suit him: he uses every second wisely, capturing the improvisational intensity of his live shows, and demonstrating just how far well-travelled and wide-ranging his musical vision is.