Format: Limited 12”/Digital
Release Date: 29/02/14
Hailing from the Belgium city of Antwerp, Yves De Mey has rather quickly cemented himself as one of the most intriguing figures in contemporary experimental electronic music. His productions seem to straddle two modes of thought; in part they are clean, mechanical and ruthlessly precise, yet on the other hand they are often noisey, industrial tinged affairs with little concern for how friendly a sound is on the ear. His latest release for Sverca’s Semantica Records continues to balance these two approaches, providing four freeform experiments in rhythmic noise.
The way this is carried off here calls to mind Autechre records such as Oversteps or LP5, as Mey keeps his track’s from stalling with a constant stream of variations in rhythm and timbre. Opener ’Disperse’ makes a good example of this; fractured bursts of humming static are placed astride an unremitting pulse of filtered snares and jolting low-end.
Despite their abstract qualities Mey’s offerings often possess an underlying groove that feels more akin to traditional techno. The swaying ‘Slew Modified’ demonstrates this well; for all its frosty Alva Noto style alienness it’s the track’s gently bubbling riff which ultimately sets the track’s tone. The same can be said of third track ’Double Slit’. Modulating white noise scuttles around a swarming electrical buzz yet these elements feel peripheral to the robust dub-techno march at the track’s core.
Blackened, swamp-like textures are also constant throughout the release, yet perhaps most evident on closing track ‘Excursions To Intersections’. A slurry of fizzing chemical noise clouds the listeners headspace, warbling synthesisers snaking in and out. The track also makes a good example of Mey’s ability to slowly build tension in his tracks - over its eight minute duration the layers slowly interlink and blur with one another building to a steady crescendo.
Semantica has provided a fitting home for artists working at the more experimental end of the techno spectrum to indulge their more abstract tendencies since its founding in 2006 - Mey’s brooding, sound-design heavy signature making a well-placed addition.