Release Date: 25/04/14
Having kept fairly close tabs on the label as of late I was already aware that the latest project of Martin J Thompson, Typeface, would take inspiration from the ideas and practises surrounding typography. The extent to which the London based producer has followed through with this however is rather admirable.
The fourth release on Thompson’s SM-LL imprint ingratiates the project with two tracks entitled ‘Kerning A’ & ‘Kerning B’. A typographical term itself, Kerning is used to describe the process of adjusting the space between letters, an abstraction which it is easy to hear in application across the release.
Diving into points in each track it is easy to hear their how the arrangements shift, broken analogue pulses buffeting against one another. Listening through start to finish however, the subtlety with which Thompson has applied his aforementioned concept begins to shine through; the experience is engrossing and hypnotic.
If you were to half the speed of Vladislav Delay’s_ Kuopio_ the resultant sound might be similar. The stumbled rhythms and fractured ambience of ’Kerning A’ in particular has crossovers with Ripatti’s work, yet Thompson’s characteristically hyper-minimal production prevents it from feeling derivative.
The release’s muted counterpart ‘Kerning B’ staggers forward, led by piercingly sharp hits, like a nail being consistently battered against without ever making even a millimetre of progress. As the loop continues, the track’s components begin faltering between one another, different elements manipulated by claustrophobic reverbs, before the cycle begins afresh.