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You can always count on BAKK to furnish the forward thinking DJ / collector with some boundary pushing, unconventional shizzle, whether it be on the unmissable Plafond series or the OG arm of the label. It's a freezing February day in Piccadilly Records, but the summery SFV Acid reappears fully-fledged with some sluggish San Fernando Valley funk and his signature acidic aesthetics. Mostly slow-burning tracks that meander the boulevards, twitchy due the right dose of acid and vocal jabs scattered across. It's always summer in the valley. The slanking groove, steam-kettle (think Death Row circa 1994) synths and garbled acid line of "Lil Heaven" provide the soundtrack to my next Quake III murder spree, while the tumbling, percolating narco-boogie of "Always" reminds me of a time I overdid the inhalants and tried to listen to Dam-Funk. Flip the disc and "405 Mary" ups the tempo into squidgy e-funk territory, spin back sounds and spangled motifs keeping it decidedly gangsta, before the humid ambience, clicking perx and gut-rumbling bass of "Jasons II" closes the set. Fiyah!

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: SFV Acid returns to BAKK with a quartet of shoulder rolling slank-outs on an acid/electro tip. Three cuts are slow and steamy summer jams, mobbing the BBQ in baggy pants and chains, while the faster "405 Mary" is squidgy, spacey and nebulous e-funk for fans of that BIG Bewwip disc we had a couple of weeks ago.

The fourth Plafond is here, with fine-crafted contrasting yet complementary pieces courtesy of Ulla Straus and Oceanic.
Along the wide arbitrary landscape of listening or 'ambient' music, it is a delight to have two artists, separated by the vast Atlantic, contributing quite opposite interpretations of such to the series. Perceptual time feels as a recurrent theme which binds them, albeit in a whole different modus operandi. In her iconic tactile productions, Straus excavates levels of advanced musical complexity in the seemingly most simple. Throughout two tracks her crude and beautiful technique riffles, compositions that remain prone to the transient, combining field recordings with morphing saxophone and guitar. This is deeply evocative music that turns its recipient into a mode of contemplation. 'I Forgot to Take a Picture' breathes melancholic romanticism, 'Becoming Warm' feels lorn yet hopeful. Pastoral haze over a rouge-tainted barren, the crackling insides of a wooden forest house. Picturesque and minimalist, Pennsylvania's Straus manages to temporarily stop the sand from gravitating downwards. Oceanic antagonises Straus with the triptych 'Three Sides of a Shell', recalling different emotions adhering to the fourth dimension. As a performing artist Oceanic masters the element of suspense. Here, over the course of nineteen minutes, a three-note sequence is explored within the producers imaginatory, chapterised, providing moments to navigate through his fictitious galaxy. Stuttering melodies across azure waters, synthesised bleeps as flickering stars over a moonlit mountain pass. Oceanic's music feels advanced through actively incorporating contemporary futurism, whilst never losing the glacial glance that is so familiar to its early nineties foregoers. It is as if listening to 'Three Sides...' heightens the senses, towards possibility, innovation even, triggering illusions of time dilation, shattering the hourglass. Comes in hand printed dreamy, pink sleeve, including Obi-strip, by the BAKK Innerspace Ink Station.

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: BAKK's Plafond series is as good as any other contemporary ambient / esoteric series, and the fourth edition is just as hot as its predecessors. Ulla Strauss serves wrongspeed Reich and misty minimalism on the A-side, while Oceanic explores fourth world hypnotism on the flip.


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