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thought broadcast - Emergency Stairway
Following a recent release on the reactivated Olde English Spelling Bee, California artist Ravi Binning lands on Editions Mego. That he's found a place on two such extreme and exacting rosters gives you some hint of the crafty, almost occult power of his junkshop electronic experiments. This is really grotty, lo-fi stuff, rooted in the murk of late 70s industrial, dub and even, reckon Mego, "a twisted form of Aktionism". Though there are several contemporary artists who share Binning's aesthetic orientation, few can be said to go about their business so uncompromisingly - in terms of polish and accessibility, Emergency Stairway makes Ekoplekz sound like Toto by comparison. We scarcely need tell you that we're in love with its queer-pitched charms: with their swaggering, smacked-out rockabilly-motorik rhythms, laconic vocal distortions and droning synths, tracks like 'Breaking Test', 'Orgone Theatre' and '03.17.2012' sound like Suicide heard through an ear full of dirty cotton wool, or recent fare from Sandra Electronics and Powell, or perhaps most of all like a genuine find from a late 70s Belgian minimal synth tape compilation. In fact, if someone played this stuff to you cold, you wouldn't guess in a million years that it was made in the 2000s. The music was delivered to eMego on cassette, and carefully transferred to vinyl by Rashad Becker at Berlin's Dubplates & Mastering - he's done a typically canny job, retaining the warmth and hiss of the original recordings while giving some much needed definition and heft to the bottom-end. If you dig early TG, the murkier end of cold wave, Ekoplekz, Powell, Downwards' DO series and all that good stuff, be sure to check this.