Reviews: Carl Craig DJs


Ectomorph: Destroy Your Powercenters

(Interdimensional Transmissions)


"Subversion" [152k RealAudio]

"Only in Shadows"

[165k RealAudio]

Ectomorph's sound continues to evolve, or is it devolve? Since their inception, their beats seem to echo more and more with a kind of pre-human sentience. At the very least, it's safe to say that Ectomorph's brand of electro is a bit unsettling, and provides the perfect realization of what "interdimensional transmissions" might sound like.

Eight-o-eight percussion is either left raw (kick drum, most hi-hats) or transformed into tendril-like appendages that stretch and echo repeatedly. Vocals are also processed to the point of being amorphous moans and grunts, as they are on "Subversion." This first track is also an example of the latest NSC (Sound Enterprises) mastering sleight-of-hand: concentric parallax grooves. Depending on where you drop the needle on "Subversion," you'll get the regular version or the dub. Sneaky.

Other unique primitives can be found in the title cut (essentially just a lattice-work of beats, to be paired with live accompaniment when Ectomorph is on stage) and in the last track "Slither" (there's a telling title), which was recorded live to two track.

The most interesting formation is "Only in Shadows," featuring John Ryan. Ectomorph tinkers with the fundamental DNA of electro and employs a slow four-count beat, but retains its unnerving funk. The high-pitched fly-by synths and reverse-edits are perfectly matched with the sparse bassline, unearthing music that hasn't been heard outside maybe the minds of Roger Corman or H.P. Lovecraft.

Leave your nightlight on.


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