Boomkat Product Review:
One of Matthew Herbert’s more demented, concrète-technoid aliases, Wishmountain gives up its first album in a decade - think Pierre Bastien meets Thomas Brinkmann at a DIY store.
Back in the late ‘90s Wishmountain ‘fessed to the tuffer side of Herbert’s concrète house principles and was a key part of the movement toward minimal techno that endured for many years after. ‘Stonework: 1000 metres down’ pits Herbert back in the minimal techno mines to hammer out 10 hypnotic, jiggly rhythmelodic workouts full of barebones but colourful percussion and mechanically recalled electronics that patently manifest Herbert’s innovative ear for intriguing sounds and knack for drivingly playful, club-ready arrangements.
Made for close listening as well as harder working DJs who like to get busy with long blends and the EQ’s, a familiar palette of foley-like tones subtly shift permutations of tempo and pattern in the album’s cyclical carousel. The panel-beating canter of ‘Tap’ and clipped tattoo of ‘Tool’ hail why Wishmountain’s work has long been name-checked by everyone form Ancient Methods to Pangaea, while the offbeat swang and grind of ‘Headrush’ and experimental trample of ‘Dig’ or the lo-slung swang of ‘Deep’ join dots between Brinkmann and likes of Kirk Barkey’s Bambooman.
The best, however, is saved for last with the nine minute ‘Walk’ evoking analogs to Muslimgauze’s more locked-in, tripped-out, unyielding loop-based tekkerz in its Arabic-toned drums and atmospheric workshop noise.