Boomkat Product Review:
Pioneering Parisian weirdo and member of acclaimed, enigmatic collective Ssabæ, Iueke throws down his first “album” for Demdike Stare’s DDS label, following a trio of mixtapes with an hour of warped goo that defies easy categorisation.
Photogenic dandy Gwen Jamois, aka Iueke, returns with his queasiest, most lysergic release yet, featuring close to an hour of rubbery, rippling electronics, laconic cinematics and free-falling rhythms frozen somewhere between Autechre, Cluster and Rashad Becker.
Gwen has been immersed in all sorts of fringe business for decades at this point, heading up the Antinote label, releasing on Ron Morelli's L.I.E.S, and contributing to those shadowy Ssabæ records we can't stop banging on about. His trio of mixtapes fully took us to the core of his psyche, all off-kilter blends that puzzled out the covalent bonds between tongue dissolving acid, folk music and discarded sonic debris. He follows that same frayed thread on this boundless, off-the-cuff performance, recorded last year at Saint-Étienne's Positive Education festival using a sparse setup of synths and drum machines, fine-tuned to gatecrash the pineal dimension. Plenty of pros have tried making this kind of trippy racket before, but trust that few have ever managed to get anywhere near the level of puckered lunacy you’ll find inside.
Brain-combing ASMR oscillations and anxious strings draw us in, clouded by hissing white noise that obscures an unnatural rhythm lurking somewhere down there in the grot. There are palpable links to Cluster's earliest experiments and the muckiest basement club workouts, but Iueke focuses on pure texture, using seesawing rhythms to scrape out new neural pathways rather than lock into the grid. It all feels a bit mechanical too, bolting together elements that are as corporeal as a lead pipe - thick, rusty-edged and aggy in a way that sounds a bit like Einsturzende Neubauten on mushies.
On the flip, unbalanced rhythms chase their own tail into a fizzing swamp of viscous bass and shepard tones like some imploding firework, eventually plonging off along impulse vectors only to collapse at half speed into the sort of acrid high-register business Whitehouse would be proud of.
Prize yr third eye open for this, it’s a real one.