The Aancient Vvars imprint is a confusing and illusory world. For anyone unfamiliar with the label, their Bandcamp is not much help, as anyone browsing through the Aancient Vvars collection will notice a few incongruous things. First, their releases look more like covers from drone metal albums, but sound nothing like them. Second, each release is some code-like modification of their name: ‘^^n(13nt v√årZ’, ‘4^nc1ent VV4rz’ and so on, making each impossible to remember or distinguish. Finally, each release is presented anonymously, and is instead just released by the label itself.
Thankfully, their bio clears things up, explaining that the label roster have “…since 1949 steadily increased their influence throughout China and the rest of the world. They have members at the very highest levels of the Chinese government but they are by nature anti-establishment, and are not an official government organisation.” This level of deep obscurity brings to mind the cantankerous attitude of early Punk. As with John Lydon’s unobliging interview manner — “we ain’t no band, we’re a company, simple” — Aancient Vvars cannot be understood and nor should they. It’s a middle finger to respectability and marketability. After all, when did electronic music get so shiny all of a sudden anyway?
As one would expect, this new release from tuuun is far from radio-friendly. Recorded in Stockholm’s legendary EMS studio, the EP comprises two extended improvised workouts recorded live in one take, with no edits or overdubs. It takes a common trope from early techno production, limiting the instrumentation to just one synth and one drum machine. The result is an ear-splitting and anarchic exploration of sound extremities and form.