Boomkat Product Review:
Beautiful. amorphous, floating and rhythmic Ambient impulses on on Huerco S.’ West Mineral Ltd - highly recommended if yr into classic Din-era Arovane, Dynamo, Chain Reaction, Ghostride The Drift.
Exael and Ben Bondy float ambient ideas about augmented reality and technology powered by organic matter, or Biotech, following up the assymetric lines of Serwed’s debut and the frayed interzones explored by Pontiac Streator and Ulla Strauss. Marking Exael’s return to the label after 2018’s ‘collex’ album, ‘Aphelion Lash’ brings the sympathetic soul of Ben Bondy into the fold for a sensitively dreamy album oscillating the pair’s work in solo and collaborative forms.
Using barely-there, liminal traces of electronics arranged in laminal flows, the pair arrive at illusive conclusions across eight tracks comparable to a more worn-out take on Torsten Pröfrock’s T++/Dynamo/Traktor mechanics, or indeed the fleeting, thizzing timbres of Ghostride The Drift, aka the trio helmed by Exael with Huerco S. And uon. Operating at a point of dematerialised compositional control where the layers of desiccated rhythm and pads appear to operate interdependent of each other, the album blooms and wilts in cycles of etheric harmony and scratchy, amorphous rhythms that unfold with only the slightest presence of human input.
Like the Serwed album of generative oddities before it, the sound of ‘Aphelion Lash’ craftily emulates a posthuman sort of nature, but like all the material on West Mineral Ltd., that elusive pathos or ghost in the machine spirit is key to the album’s appeal, and by the end of its course it’s practically impossible to tell who is behind each cut, as the artists dissolve into ambient compounds on its collaborative highlights, the dreamily diffracted slosh of ‘Aphelion Lash’, and the supremely blunted, Spectre-style illbient ‘90s hip hop crush of ’Six Steppa’.