|Shackleton & Vengeance Tenfold||Sferic Ghost Transmits|
Shackleton & Vengeance Tenfold — Sferic Ghost Transmits •» Shackleton and spoken word artist Vengeance Tenfold have collaborated on sounduk’s Sonic Journeys, a collection of specially commissioned pieces asking artists to respond to specific stretches of landscape. Their Sonic Journey traces North and South Devon trainlines, from Exeter to Totnes and Exeter to Barnstaple, tracking the landscapes of each journey.
Style: Tribal, African, Experimental, Dark Ambient, Techno
Album release: Jan 13, 2017
Record Label: Honest Jon’s Records
1 Before the Dam Broke 11:14
2 Dive into the Grave 10:24
3 Five Demiurgic Options 9:12
4 Spheric Ghost / Fear the Crown 16:04
5 Seven Virgins 11:09
6 The Prophet Sequence 4:20
℗ 2017 Honest Jon’s Records
Ξ° No~one else makes music like this: devilishly complex but warm and intuitive, stirring together a dizzying assembly of outernational and outerspace influences, whilst retaining the subby funk~and~hot~breath pressure of Shackleton’s soundboy, club roots. The result is an evolutionary, truly alchemical music — great shifting tides of dub, minimalist composition and choral song (Five Demiurgic Options); ritual spells to ward off the darkness (Before The Dam Broke, The Prophet Sequence); radiophonia and zoned~out guitar improv (Seven Virgins); even the febrile, freeform psychedelia of eighties noise rock (Sferic Ghost Transmits / Fear The Crown). Over the five years since Music For The Quiet Hour, Vengeance’s vocal and lyrical range has rolled out across this new terrain. Throughout these six transmissions he’s hoarse preacher, sage scholar and ravaged bluesman; blind man marching off to war, and exhausted time~traveller warning of impending socio~ecological catastrophe. Six dialogic accounts of our conflicted times, then, expanding beyond the treacly unease of the duo’s early collaborative work into something subtler and more emotionally shattering — its shades of brightness more dazzling, and its darkness even murkier. “We almost didn’t hear it when the foundations went.”
•» English maker of densely detailed, classification~defying 12” releases for labels like Skull Disco, Perlon, and his own Woe to the Septic Heart!
by Daniel Martin~McCormick, Jan. 21st, 2017 / Score. 8.0
•» The new album from producers Sam Shackleton and Vengeance Tenfold foregoes traditional structures for byzantine, suite~like movements full of headtrip spoken word and drifting pads.
•» Among club artists as well as experimental composers, Sam Shackleton has few peers. Since his Skull Disco label closed shop in 2008, he has continually broken down and reformed his template of North African percussion, paranoid atmospheres, and crushing sub bass, drifting beyond the outer~reaches of the dubstep galaxy that tangentially gave him his start. The sound that has emerged, especially on his more recent Woe to the Septic Heart! label, places him in a legacy of UK artists adept at pulling from jarringly disparate corners of music to create an evocative, dour, strangely mystical body of work that transcends the sum of its parts.
•» The specters of two such groups — Coil and This Heat — loom large on Sferic Ghost Transmits, the outstanding new album from Shackleton and on~again~off~again collaborator Vengeance Tenfold. Coil’s sense of tense foreboding, cultish incantations, and slithering sensuality are mirrored in the album’s headtrip spoken word and Shackleton’s drifting pads. Meanwhile, Vengeance’s occasionally glum vocal melodies, and the grim sense of survival amid a collapsing neoliberal hellscape, could be cribbed directly from This Heat’s playbook. What these groups have in common is a fluid sense of experimentation that channels technical virtuosity into raw, punk gestures, startling textures, and hypnotic grooves rather than flash.
•» Still, the music on Sferic Ghost Transmits firmly establishes its own space. The album opens with twisting gamelan percussion and builds layers of oozing drones, choral pads, and lithe percussion figures into a sprawling voyage. Shackleton’s compositions of late have foregone traditional structures, swerving instead through byzantine, suite~like movements. Except for the closer “The Prophet Sequence,” these tracks hover around the 10~minute mark, can go as long as 16, and are built with the intricacy of a puzzle box.
•» The cover art Shackleton has favored since the beginning telegraphs something critical, too: this is stoner music of the highest order. The intonations on “Seven Virgins” could pass for a lost archival recording of a sea shanty jammed through a flanger. Vengeance sounds quietly epic while Shackleton lays back, focusing mostly on setting thick, opium den moods for over seven minutes. Then a burned synth rips a gnarly solo, occasioning perhaps the first air guitar moment in his extensive discography.
•» Equally druggy is the way the tracks bleed together. In using a largely consistent sonic palette from song to song, Shackleton has written an album that can wash over you if you’re not listening closely. The tracks demand your attention, but they also reward it. Check for the fidgety organ motif buried in the back of “Sferic Ghost Transmits/Fear the Crown,” tucked beneath Vengeance’s throat singing, or the opening gong of “Five Demiurgic Options”; each moment of this album drips with mood. This is the kind of record that can appeal widely, and may actually find more detractors among its intended audience of electronic music heads precisely because of its lack of traditional club touchstones. Speaking with Resident Advisor in 2010, Shackleton expressed a certain exasperation. “I just make [music] until it sounds right and that’s as simple as it is,” he said. “I know some people say, ‘You can’t fucking dance to that shit.’ When I’m making something, I’m imagining myself dancing to it and I get off on that.” •» http://pitchfork.com/
|Shackleton & Vengeance Tenfold||Sferic Ghost Transmits|
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