Black Meteoric Star (Gavin Rayna Russom)

3 Love Songs

Image of Black Meteoric Star (Gavin Rayna Russom) - 3 Love Songs
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A very exciting release, and one not often seen on these shores (unfortunately) comes from LCD's synth-master and all-round legend, Gavin Rayna Russom under the name 'Black Meteoric Star'. '3 Love Songs' is a trio of hardware jams, brimming with analogue grit and shadowy, post-apocalyptic drive. First off, we get the appropriate echoed warning to 'Take Cover' before the snappy envelope and manipulated filters of 'Love Song #1' really take hold. Underpinned by an insistent woody kick and a shuffled hats, the throbbing saw wave near-octave (such is the wonder of modular synths, being innately fiddly to tune, some of the less experienced manipulators among us might stumble upon this microtonal anomaly, whereas in experienced hands such as these, it is obviously intentional and perfectly measured) pulls the piece along with a dystopian momentum, brimming with feeling but saturated and distorted to give the impression of a cast of characters collaboratively playing the leading role through co-operation and cohabitation.

We get a gradual build-up of pressure, through the introduction of space-echoed vocal snippets endlessly looping and slowly degrading, with pinpointed percussive grooves and perfectly manipulated filters. At no point during it's almost 8-minute length does it feel laboured or over-familiar, retaining enough melodic intrigue and stylistic variance to keep the hypnotic drive afloat.

'Love Song #2' retains the same sense of pace and sonic qualities as its predecessor, building on the steady pulses and tentative sonic exploration, but with a more syncopated percussive undertone, alternating between the sonic domination of the weighty LPF sweeps on the primary saw-wave and the lengthy decay on the open hi-hat, creating a sort of call and response duality. The machinated pitch variances led by an offset-controlled quantiser help to break out of the robotic drive by adding a sense of randomisation, and work away from the industrious guidelines of the previous piece, opening up into the majestic closer and groove-led throb of 'Love Song #3'

By far the most humanised piece on the whole collection, but introduced at just the right time, the third piece kicks things off with heavily shuffled hats and resonant oscillator taking the lead role, joined by vocal shards pushed through reams of tape, and brought to the front of the sonic workspace. Once again, there are echoes of the previous pieces on here but unhampered by recidivism, it's a progressive and developmental suite of pieces, designed to be heard together and all the better for the thread of continuity running through the collection. 3 Love Songs is brimming with analogue grit, but at the same time feels almost organic, blooming into a dark but emotive suite of throbbing pulses and hypnotic bunker jams. Stunning stuff. 


A1 Love Song #1 7:45
A2 Love Song #2 5:16
B1 Love Song #3 9:11

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