Boomkat Product Review:
Sublime debut LP of weightless ambient electronics and Dub Techno from the newly minted sferic label, includes remixes by Perfume Advert & Space Afrika. RIYL Lee Gamble, Lanark Artefax, Jan Jelinek, Shinichi Atobe...
The sferic label bubbles up from Manchester city centre with Echium’s debut suite of charming ambient gestures, neatly expanded by empathetic, weightless house remixes from local cuties; Perfume Advert and Space Afrika.
Their mutual first move, Synthetic Space positions both Echium and sferic within a well rooted tradition of Berlin kosmische, dub and Detroit techno-informed electronics emanating from the rainy city, convecting a wistful spirit that resonates with Martin Hannett’s work for The Durutti Column as much as J.S. Zeiter’s mutable dub techno and the humbly mannered moves of the CCO and meandyou labels.
Under its plasmic aura of stray electro-dub artefacts, aqueous rhythms and dusky chords, Synthetic Space effectively smudges distinctions between pre- and post- club sensations or states of mind, operating with a deftness of touch and conversational turn of phrase that connotes feelings caught between excitable, pill-belly anticipation and mercurial rambles that ribbon off into the morning light with a beautifully elusive, tip-of-the-tongue quality.
Its eight original tracks oscillate effervescent tones and grained electronics with a carefully realised, cybernetic nuance, locating a lush balance of haptic nudge and detached process that really gets under the skin in altered states. It’s active in the opening cut, Blended Textures’ swirl of arid chords and frothing acid, and smudged deeply into the glowing pores of Juum and the noumenal bleep space of Looum, and aching with a lovebot sentience in the Shinichi Atobe-esque title track, all on the A-side, whereas the the B-side subtly edges up the bass to tactile, insistent degrees with the air-stepping Ethereal and Activation beauties giving way to the arabesque vignette, Jazz Interlude.
Special mention for the remixes, with Salford's Perfume Advert playing to their Anxiety Support Group tendencies with nervously deferred but soothing results, and the ascendent Space Afrika duo hustling a rolling, heads-down Tribalist Dub version that leaves the disc simmering for another spin ahead of their debut LP, as promised for sferic in the near future.