Boomkat Product Review:
Mutant footwork and psychedelic synthesis from Belgium’s Apulati Bien, delivered as co-release between Paris’ ace Promesses and, perhaps surprisingly, the roving label, (K-RAA-K)³
‘Azone’ is Apulati Bien’s five year album follow-up to ‘OO:NÉ’, which first placed him on the map in the murkiest interzones of post-grime, noise, and footwork proximal to the likes of Low Jack. His return is marked by a heightened appreciation of space and mercurial rhythm, as they more slickly navigate around the leftfield ends of footwork with more distinctly expressive, original synthesis that gels and perfuses the album’s 11 tracks.
It’s all there in the opening track ‘Indaway’, where he weaves elements of Raga-like synth tone and tabla or gamelan-esque drum flurries into nimble footwork, setting the tone for a variegated but cohesive batch that contracts and expands between the psychedelic 2-step of ‘Blé Noir’, granular ambient in ‘Pickpocket IV’, and into nervy darkside footwork on ‘Lobo 1’, with Vica Pacheco lending curdled vocals and colour to its ‘Lobo 2’ echo. For fine measure, there’s a fine piece of post-techno dream-pop in ‘Non Riesco’ ft. sultry vox by Radio Hito, and ‘Impulsion’ pushes footwork into cosmic psych realms, beside a frozen jungliest zinger ‘Indazone’.