Boomkat Product Review:
Debut vinyl EP by Tokyo-based algorave pioneer, Renick Bell, for Lee Gamble's UIQ, Recommended if you're into Autechre, Brood Ma, Richard Devine, Phoenecia etc!
The angular, abstract funk of Renick Bell’s Empty Lake EP for Lee Gamble’s UIQ is perhaps exactly what you might expect from a pioneer of algoraves - a forward-looking union of live coding and rave music that’s currently taking computer boffins out of the studio/bedroom and placing them in real, physical spaces to hear what happens.
To date, beyond the live algoraves, Bell’s music has mostly been contained in his chaotic Fractal Beats series on soundcloud and thoroughly unpackaged in academic papers on live coding and pragmatic aesthetic theory. With the Empty Lake EP he offers a refinement of the ideas in Fractal Beats, skilfully teasing out a tangle of post techno pulses, shards of catty ballroom house, hardcore kuduro and filigree footwork patterns twisted into shimmering, convulsive contours and unstable, scattered melodies.
In an obvious sense, his sound is heavily compatible with the recent Lanark Artefax 12” on UIQ and certainly finds sympathies with Lee Gamble’s most obtuse aspects, but it also feels more feral, overgrown that either of those artists’ work in a way that relishes his software’s capacity for creating wild new junctures of sound that effectively re-program his and our brains in real time while we’re listening.
From the elasticated, recoiling swang of Trying To Control The Four Winds to the Patten-like melt of The Well and the fluctuating states of Surface Waters Flow Together, there’s a level of detail to these tracks which will become apparent on first listen, and which will continue to baffle your sense of proprioception, meter and tone for long after the moment.