Australian label 3BS seem to be expanding their remit as of late. Their last release from Sydney based Simon Unwin aka Hence Therefore put clattering industrial percussion atop a bed of both rich and murky futurist soundscapes. The latest on the other hand, a split cassette between label head John Papert aka Mannheim Rocket and Cory Champion aka Borrowed cs, might just as easily find its home on Jens Kuhn’s Workshop imprint.
If the release’s weightless, micro-house aesthetic weren’t enough to suggest this on its own, the tracks’ extended lengths similarly call to mind the mind-bending 4/4 trips of Lowtec or Magic Mountain High. Each ramble out over a languid ten minutes, rushing hats and padding tom sounds showing their is still plenty of variation to be explored within drum-machine-centric dance music.
Borrowed cs’ ‘Death In High Definition’ holds an intoxicated, almost slow motion feel. As the track trips and bumps forward, distant chimes and thin spread telstar-style drones lay out a subtle yet mesmeric hook. There is a charm about Champion’s faded VHS aesthetic; even the digital version of the release sounds as if it were being played on a cassette that’s been wound back one two many times.
Comparatively, Mannheim Rocket’s offering holds tightly-meshed formation. ‘Wasps’ ratchets up the tension; ultra-close delays and petrol engine rhythms make a formidable opening; like a jet-fueled version of Rrose’s warped technoid experiments. Bedraggled orchestral textures make their introduction slowly, echoing weightlessly atop Papert’s thickset drums.
One of the most interesting things about the release is the way in which both artists deploy the similar techniques to gather startlingly different results. Both tracks centre heavily around slowly evolving beatific soundscapes, using ultra-tight delays and slowly evolving 707/808/909 patterns to craft their narratives. As ever it appears 3BS is still exploring and evolving, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.