Bastakiya Tapes: the foreboding, angsty younger sister of Bedouin Records. Despite their differences, the sibling labels together form something of a synthetic whole. Bedouin situate their roster on the dance-floor, albeit a grubby basement of a dance-floor. You can find J Tijn’s overdriven acid, Eomac’s 6am techno and even a ghettohouse mixtape from Traxman. But the Bastakiya Tapes are isolated and lonesome. They are for headphone listening, in the sullen adolescent bedroom of the mind. Bedouin for Saturday night boogie; Bastakiya for Sunday morning blues.
The latest in the Bastakiya series comes from Memotone, a producer known for his restless departure between styles. All the way from wonky hip-hop to neo-classical. But this album opens like a Tom Waits instrumental. Block chords of dusty clarinets blast through a busted gramophone. On ‘You Are All in Disagreement,’ cello strings swoop in and out of the mix in disorienting glissando. On ‘Burnt Forest,’ the strings take a darker turn, hissing out in sharp, distorted spikes. The whole album feels like walking through a forgotten antique shop. Therein, you find squeaky hinges, creaky floorboards and drunk pianos.
If these are Memotone’s collected ideas on people, the people in question are from a different time, accessible only through memory. The melodies are childlike and pretty; but bent out of shape into something broken and demented. The album closes with ‘What It Could Have Been’: a grandiose sound collage and defiant full stop.