Label: InFiné Records
Release Date: 14/10/2013
For a while things went a little with quiet elusive Spanish duo Downliners Sekt, their latest 12” entitled ‘Balt Shakt’ being the first release from the pair since 2012’s frenetic ‘Trim/Tab’ release. Rather than signalling a drop in activity for Downliners Sekt, the break in releases infact heralds quite the opposite - the production of their third full-length offering, to be released next year via InFiné Records.
The release of ‘Balt Shakt’ comes as something of a taster of the forthcoming album, and is indicative of the territory the LP will inhabit. Straddling a line between the grainy, post-rock tinged two-step offerings they have worked on previously and ambience-imbued Techno, ‘Balt Shakt’ continues to refine the highly distinctive niche the pair have carved out for themselves.
Tender washes of pleasantly coarse synthesiser introduce a-side offering ‘Part 1’, occasionally interspersed with gently emotive vocal sampling calling to mind James Blake’s 2010 ‘Klavierwerke’ EP. Distant, stumbling percussion adds to the track’s hypnotic charm, an assortment of real-world sounds manipulated and ordered into a shuffled four to the floor pulse. Murky organs and clattering snares slowly build as the track progresses, working up to a reverberating crescendo in the closing minutes of the track.
The second component to ‘Balt Shakt’ occupies a roughly similar space, bringing tribalistic drums to the fore, thudding beneath crackling ambient textures and rises of throbbing white-noise. As the track eases in its final portion sullen piano tones break through cloudy atmospherics creating a beautifully melancholic finale.
Given that it’s been a good five years since the last full-length offering from Downliners Sekt, the prospect of another is something to be afforded much anticipation, especially given how far the outfit have come since the comparatively maximalist Breakbeat and Trip Hop offerings of 2008’s The Saltire Wave. Whilst perhaps not giving too much away, ’Balt Shakt’ does suggest a freshly calibrated take on the sound Downliners Sekt have acquainted themselves with before, of which I am more than looking forward to immersing myself in.