Label: West Norwood Cassette Library
Release Date: 02/10/2014
These days electronic music is rarely as wild in its experimentations as with Nick Edwards aka Ekoplekz’s recent ‘Rock la Bibliotek’ EP for West Norwood Cassette Library. Despite being caked in rave-era bravado (laser sounds and all), its untamed nature manages to call to mind the early productions of Kluster, with gritty sound design a prominent feature.
As followers will know, Edwards is an avid hardware enthusiast. Given the creative freedom it affords him this makes sense as he gracefully crafts extended sonic trips with a finesse that is very hard to achieve with software equivalents. Take second track ‘Evakuate’ for example; static laced sirens announce their presence abruptly, echoing tape delay gurgling in the periphary. Often slightly off-beat, the imperfections from Edwards’ raw, unrestrained approach is where its greatest appeal lies.
Wild meandering sonic experiments such as ‘Dropkone’ or ‘Perplekzed’ set the tone of the release perfectly; the listening experience is intense and disorientating, like wading through a murky swamp of alien wildlife.
This said, the EP does have its moments of comparative clear-headedness (even if that is when contrasted with violent freakouts like ‘Sarkaztik’). ‘Metronomik’ for example is subtle and loop-driven, a steady motorik pulse offset by driving synthlines and cavernous bass, in an offering of mesmerising simplicity.
‘Rock la Bibliotek’ makes an interesting adaption of Edwards’ sound to match the label, in sync with the oddball take on House and Techno that have comprised past releases. Where WNCL will venture next we can never be sure; the label’s only predictable quality is their unpredictability.