Label: Portals Editions
Release Date: 22/09/2014
Finding information on recent ‘Portals Editions’ signee Shaddah Tuum online is something of a challenge. The pair comprised of Nicolas Lefort and Brandon Rosenbluth have shunned conventional online tools like Soundcloud or Facebook to promote the collaboration, instead letting their debut EP ‘PRTLS 001’ do the talking for them - and a fine job it does of it too.
As individuals the pair are less illusive, but only slightly so. Lefort has released previously under the guise ‘Niko ‘Shaddah’ Lfo’ creating highly conceptual sonic experiments, inspired by the lineage of Musique Concreté. Rosenbluth on the other hand adopts the guise ‘Xorzyzt’ to represent both his own music and his equally dark, claustrophobic visual work (screenshot above).
The influence of each are more than obvious on the collaboration, treading a line between precise, razor-edged techno and something akin to drone-metal. The contrast between the grinding, indistinct textures and clinical, sound design heavy rhythms is rather severe. Through opening track ‘Merkabah’ tectonic low-end rumbles menacingly as hissing voices and clattering hits work into an abrasive industrial clangour.
The second original, ‘S-NInYourHead’, employs a wholly different tact - making a punishing transition in its second half. The opening minutes utilise the precise, Raster Noton indebted beats Lefort frequented on his recent ‘Hanz ■ Memorial’ solo EP. As Shaddah Tuum’s dizzying, static laced rhythms reach their climax however, the track suddenly cuts to a blackened metal chord progression. Stark in it’s contrast, Tuum’s nosediving drones plummet between crumpled drums.
Those familiar with the work of Dadub will already be aware of their well honed, tribal take on the experimental techno. The remix showcases their signature well; yet it is the final recast from Blueprint signee Samuel Kerridge that steals the show. Drawing on elements from both originals, the Berlin based artist crafts an achingly languid apocalyptic soundscape. Kerridge’s dense, shiftless take on the release calls to mind the work Sunn O))); fuzz caked guitars feel heavily burdened, crawling sluggishly alongside indistinguishable groans and murmurs.