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Forest Drive West

Blue 05

Forest Drive West debuts on fresh-A-F label Whities with two sub heavy rollers perfectly crafted to move human limbs. If you're a fan of those piston-powered Sunklo records (with Joy O & Boddika), or the rambunctious future-perx of Night Slugs and Numbers, then this percolated glider should be right up your strasse!

Both tracks exist on a taut, tight line of tension, like two workhorses slowly pulling in opposite directions; you know some things got to give eventually.

Technoid vox smudge in and out of the mix, drum hits evolve and dissolve at random while a stuttered, lost-in-the-smoke groove ensures no static behavior throughout. Nu-tribalism-meets-technoid-swagger. More essential movements from Whities!

A three tracker by Pugilist that explores cross sections of bass, breaks and techno. There's real variation to the styles here but all have the Australian producers signature mastery of rhythmic low end.

Beautifully delicate, semi-ambient, semi-exotic masterpiece here from Leif - one of the UK's most well respected DJs.

A star of the Freerotation festival, Leif's meandering warm-ups thru electronica, jungle, ambience and techno have become somewhat synonymous with the event itself, and you can't help but feel that "Loom Dream" attempts to segue itself into one of those infamous sets somehow...

Existing in between obvious beat = genre structures, and avoiding clichéd and overused 'club' arrangements, "Loom Dream" almost epitomizes the liminal space which Leif occupies. A unique collage and excavational knowledge of deep electronica and all its many facets results in a majestic and difficult-to-space soundscape of dreams - the only comparable reference point being perhaps the Krautian landscapes of Ash Ra temple or Gottsching, or maybe Huerco S' modern ambient masterpiece: "For Those Of You Who Have Never...". But there's more going on here behind the swathes of blissful ambience. Intricate tabla lines, rainforest shakers, synthesized kicks, galloping rhythms... it's a hybrid of influences coalesced into one purified style that's completely Leif's own creation. A true reflection of this artist's inner workings.. Recommended. 

Experimental musician Rupert Clervaux releases his debut solo album "After Masterpieces" on Whities. The record features guest performances from saxophonist and trumpet player Eben Bull, singer Sian Ahern, and renowned experimental artist Anna Homler (aka Breadwoman) whose inimitable voice ushers us into the record’s opening prelude, and out of its redemptive final piece.

"After Masterpieces" sets six recitals of Rupert’s poetry in unique, unpredictable and expansive musical scenery. The enigmatic and densely compacted texts, reworked and gently honed throughout the album’s slow creation, find an aerial perspective from which a lifetime of reading, listening and thinking is carefully re-mapped. The broad thematic scope takes in aesthetics, ancient mythologies, the origins of language and music, epistemology and ecology, to name just a few, all of which remain tightly intertwined, resistant to abstraction, and imbued with a sense of inquisitive ambiguity which treats all certainty with suspicion: the listener is invited to find their own threads, draw their own conclusions and think their own thoughts - as Anna Homler once aptly said of her own work, '…it’s not didactic, it’s poetic.'

Initially deriving its impetus from the mood and rhythm of the words, the album’s music utilises a wide-array of performance and production techniques. Clervaux draws on his full range of musical interests, creating long-form pieces that at turns support the recitals and then lead the way for the instrumental swathes within and between them. The sounds of "After Masterpieces" revolve through the melodic ambience of "Her Fingers of Pink Light"; the dark electronics and multi-layered samples of "In Shadowlands of Like and Likeness"; the tentative interplay of piano and voice on "Damper and Drum"; and the riff-like patterned percussion and free improvisation of "Make Nature Speak.". As the LP draws to a close, Homler and Bull join Rupert on "L’amore che Muove il Sole" - a sprawling anti-hymn, echoing the structure of "The Divine Comedy", which discovers, in place of Dante’s heavenly paradise, a fragile optimism for positive change in the wreckage of failed grand narratives.


2xLP Info: Full colour picture sleeve, booklet, printed rubber obi - well fancy!

Whities 014 is by Londoner and master digger, Jules Venturini. It’s a 3 track 12” of discordant choral euphoria with artwork designed by Alex McCullough. Obviously Reichian in its construction, "Flying Kites" should take you immediately into a world of "Music For 18 Musicians"-styled brilliance; the idea expanded on with some extra bleeps and granular effected synthesis. "Keep Me Close", whilst clearly by the same producer with the same ideas, sees the sound go more cosmic, with delicate interstellar string melodies fluttering in on a waves of solar energy. "Trace Of Smoke" completes the set with a more discordant and unsettling number; talking percussion growling fiercely through a haze of fug and static. Head turning, totally unique ambience and atmosphere throughout - recommended!


Matt says: Hopefully I don't put too many trad noses out of place when I say this - but Jules Venturini is like the Steve Reich of 2017. Meticulously pieced together, "Whities014" perfectly shows off the serene, contented moods of this fantastic soundsmith.

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