Boomkat Product Review:
Arch rave deconstructionists EVOL systematically break down and resequence a Roland TR-808 drum palette playing all 65,519 possible percussive chords over two properly trippy hours that provide the uniquely satisfying, rhythmelodic style of their “computer music for hooligans”.
At it for over 20 years now, and showing no signs of inquisitive inertia, EVOL’s Roc Jiménez and Stephen Sharp practically eat, sleep and pee electronic music at its purest, playful, and uncompromising. On ‘The Chord Catalogue For Eight-O-Eight’ they follow intensive interrogations on a plethora of pre-sets such as mentasms and 303s with two hour-long tracts of perpetual 808 chronics, arranging the purely percussive palette in a richly pleasing, pointillist cadence that, quite brilliantly, does not know when to let up. Depending where you stand on their - to our ears amazing - megamix of bars from acid classics, ‘Ideal Megamix’ or the likes of their jack trax for Diagonal, you’ve either stopped reading by now or will be jumping on it with energy.
To get conceptual, the 2hour+ piece is based on a 1986 Fluxus style composition by Tom Johnson, which demands the player plays all the chords possible in 1 octave of a piano; all 8178 of ’em. Applied to the 808 - the backbone of electronic dance music - and its 16 different voices, EVOL’s work utilises some 65,519 chords in an unyielding gush of percolated drums in a perfectly obsessive style. Your ears won’t lie from hearing the samples, but we can assure you that the metric swells and increasingly stacked chords of the extended piece are hypnotic, daft and delirious in equal measure.