v/a: Fugitive Pieces (Seagrave, 2020)

August 1, 2020 at 12:44 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

v/a: Fugitive Pieces

Seagrave has a pretty astonishing catalog of breaks, algorave, IDM, grime, lo-fi, post-punk weirdness, and much more. This new 10-track comp doesn’t appear to have any particular theme, it’s just creative material from across the label’s roster and beyond. Etch starts things off splendidly with some steady but choppy jungle breaks and bumping bass. Brain Rays & Quiet (easily the label’s duo to watch right now) have some fun making a sort of atmospheric ghettotech track out of a CupcakKe sample. Viennese legend Stereotyp goes hard with a tough ragga-grime riddim, and newcomer Drumskull (review of his new album forthcoming) references oldskool breakbeat hardcore tropes but does something entirely different with them; it’s punchier, more angular, ruffer. Ice_Eyes’ remarkable “Silk01d” is a jagged, prismatic futurescape which seems like it’s crushing itself, yet it’s still sort of funky and almost melodic. Maybe those aren’t really the best ways to describe it, but it does the mutilated Autechre glitch thing while still sounding like it’s a breathing creature. Under-recognized glitch-breaks veteran ScanOne comes correct with the tense but jumpy “Breeze”. The mysterious Sentry resurrects an offbeat, kind of antsy techno gem from an obscure 12″ released by a Slovakian label 4 years ago. The rest of the tracks drift away from breaks and club sounds to more abstract lo-fi textures. Warp alumni REQ surrounds samples about robot superheroes (“We need more power! We must bring safety to the universe!”) with clanky, fizzing beats and bubbles, and Ekoplekz works his usual radiophonic industrial dub magic. The comp ends with brooding selection from SDEM, whose recent double cassette on the label follows releases on Opal Tapes and CPU last year.

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