Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Rene Hell/ Three Legged Race "violin petal (auden)"/ "whipped secrets" (Arbor) LP

New waves from Beatty and Witscher. Lots of space in these class A constructions, but it is dealt with differently on each side.

Starting with the Three Legged Race; the guy knows how to build a loop. The first part (of a three part piece) swings clouds from the start evoking last centuries ambients from Satie to Frippertronics. Wafts of refined topicality curl around the edges and an extra dimension is being explored way underneath. Part two drops us into the slippery goop of Beatty's rhythmic synthesized undulations. For a second we are jamming with Keith Hudson, dubbed and dripping but somehow still doing 120 on the freeway. Part three picks up right there. Clicks and kick-backs, cell phone worship, ghost in the machine. This is techno if you can believe it. No seriously - it's techno. But it's hardly there and breaking every couple of bars. In other words, it is just what the doctor ordered. This world is fruitful. We're journeying between three tones here for a while, just living, picking apart, deconstructing, teasing, goofing. It's a gas. Then, a call from across the void inevitably sounds - the machine wants its own agency - and the laser guns come out. Beatty battles for control in a neo-western decomposition between machine and magic.


Part one of Rene Hell's (Jeff Witscher) four-part "violin petal" piece dredges psychedelic detritus from the retired landscape. I hear voices sometimes. I am vaguely stimulated. I get lost between lines. Which is impossible. Part two could be a Ducktails setup from the get. But rather than jamming a tune over the top, Witscher punches in the pentatonics and then hands over the controls. This stuff is more long-form, more landscape than "Landscapes", and decidedly darker. It never blows it's load, it just moves in and out in a blissful, cyclical march. Everything expands out from center, spinning around and around, influencing everything else in this small, wonderful, insular spot. Part three could be titled "Consequences" (it isn't), emerging out of the fog like a smug executioner. This is essentially a drone piece, but nothing is being "sat on" here. The seems are well joined and no one tone triumphs over the others. The record ends with "exit room 808" - a wonderfully wobbly Wizard of Oz finale wrap-up to warp your mind back into reality. After just one side with Witscher, you get the feeling that you have been changed permanently. I think I need to go outside.

Edition of 400. Available from Arbor themselves.