I’ve seen Peder Mannerfelt play a number of times, but Corsica Studios at the start of February was the first time I’ve seen him DJ. Needless to say it’s a very different experience from the hallucinatory electronics he delivers at his live shows, as he pieced together a set of hard-hitting 4/4; phasing synth-lines and jarring vocal hooks ensuring things remained suitably surreal.
Whether this set marks a shift to a more straight-forward brand of club music in Mannerfelt’s operations more generally I’m not sure, yet the latest release from his label, Peder Mannerfelt Produktion, would at least seem to reflect this contrast.
Titled with much the same directness the music itself possesses, ‘PM V/A Vol.1’ is a four track collaboration between Mannerfelt, Andre Kronert, Boston-based Isabella and Drömfakulteten member Sissel Wincent. Opening with Isabella’s ‘Ominate’, the release starts as it means to continue. Discordant air-raid samples and buoyant low-end make for a driving, hypnotic listen, with what sounds like outtakes from Pink Floyd’s ‘Money’ providing off-kilter percussive frills.
Kronert and Mannerfelt continue in a similar vein with the ghetto-house leaning ‘Tenth Street Rag’ and tumbling ‘Wake UP!’, while Sissel Wincent elects to challenge the mold. Her ‘Illusion of Randomness’ EP was a highlight of last year, providing a refreshingly personal feeling take on modular electronics. Across ‘Tricky Question Why’ Wincent maintains the reductionist sound palette of her previous release, but notches up the BPM a good few scores, creating a pulse-raising, dizzying cacophony of kick drums.
Lately we’ve tended to steer away from the more overtly functional side of electronic music. This isn’t necessarily because we dislike, or don’t see the need for this kind of music, but often it feels like there’s limited use in trying to analyse something which is better assessed by the amount of sweat it generates on the dancefloor.
‘PM V/A Vol.1’ feels different however. While remaining club-based, each offering accentuates themes which have been present through much of the label’s previous output; dopplereffect synthesisers zooming across the stereo field, malfunctioned breakdowns and vocal hooks which worm their way into your ear and stay there.