Boomkat Product Review:
SM-LL's next UAN deployment is another dizzying mix of airlock futurism, dubtech moodiness and hi-res digi-industrial grind. Abstract and brilliant, for fans of Pole, Ryoji Ikeda, Emptyset or Oval.
The un-dimmed spirit of Mille Plateaux and Raster Noton wafts around "UAN0012". While many previous editions in sm-all's anonymous series have hovered around the Pan Sonic school of hotwired rhythmic minimalism, this set zeroes in on the post-Oval glitch mode, with ice-cold misted pads, undulating bass and complex rhythms. '02-05-KS-RTT' barely even has a beat, centering harmonic pipe hiss and gruesome collapsed CD-skip noises that swirl into a sleep-chamber vortex, sounding like Kim Cascone's advanced digital minimalism and Pole's soundsystem abstraction at once. '03-07-KS-RTT' races more readily into Ryoji Ikeda territory, with discernible skipp'd rhythms, throbbing sub bass and frazzled, bit-crushed chords, but it's '04-06-KS-RTT' that does it for us, shaving the top layer of frequencies from the track and allowing the rhythms to breathe gently rather than scream, cowering under noisy digital undergrowth and unsettling sound design elements.
The set's most substantial track - '06-11-05-10-KS-RTT' - is also its most cybernetic, and assembles itself with dislocated units of mistral "EP7" synth and pinprick glitch rhythms. It's the record's most evocative moment, and launches us into a William Gibson-inspired doomscape for a few moments, augmenting the Mille Plateaux/Raster Noton references with playful sci-fi posturing. We've been impressed with everything from the UAN series so far, and "UAN0012" is another choice set of anonymous gloop that balances '00s experimental aesthetics with contemporary modular system techniques. Recommended.