The Cut with Filter Musikk

“A mind-bending animated video”…. “After grinding his teeth with a solid 20-ish EPs” …. “a series of minatres that harness the many shadows this legendary act”… “Oozing style.”

Nobody should be oozing anything really and that guy should ease up on the drugs if he’s grinding his teeth through 20 EPs. We don’t need an email to tell us what music to listen to, we’ve got a guy for that.  

Roland Lifjell spends six days a week at Filter Musikk, his office is literally built from walls of records, which on occasion, if he’s feeling particularly good -spirited, spill out onto the shop floor at Filter Musikk. Boxes upon boxes stack up like a paper mache fortress of solitude. We don’t know where he sleeps, but rumour has it that his bedroom is a music studio, his bed lamp is a vu meter, his sheets are made from old speaker cables, his pillow is a subwoofer  and he survives on a combination of instant coffee and sub audio frequencies transmitted from the afterlife by Sun Ra’s ghost.

On special occasion he parlays these frequencies into a DJ set, but his prime conduit remains the immense record collection that constitutes Filter Musikk. Every week he annexes a corner of his record hovel bat cave for new arrivals from the labels and producers that do a little more making music and a little less sending emails. These records are the last fragments of the true underground.

Some say Filter Musikk incites riots, while others proclaim Roland Lifjell is musical necromancer that will insnair a listener in a dangerous capitalist routine, buying music in a outdated format every week to no-end at all except self-indulgence. There are those that call him an immortal, the result of a chemical spill at a record plant.  All we know is he’s called the…

No… no… we’re not doing that.

Welcome to the cut with Filter Musikk where we’re always grinding our teeth on the latest mind bending series of minatres oozing into Filter Musikk, whatever that means.

Linkwood – Fresh Gildans (Firecracker) 12″ Limited Edition

One of our favourite House acts on one of our favourite labels. Nick Moore’s Linkwood alias and side project, Linkwood family has been a tour de force on Lindsay Todd’s Firecracker since EP1. As Linkwood, Moore pieces together obscure samples with homemade beats in music that steps.

 

On “Fresh Gildans” he does more of the same with three exquisite House tracks, housed in some exquisite packaging, hand-crafted by Lindsay Todd. The extensive opener hits you right in the gut with a meaty electro kick, before a breezy west coast synth steps into focus. Ghostly voices project from the ether while an erratic bubbling synth tries to compose itself between the rhythms only to break down and fall apart at each turn of phrase.

It’s a hi-fi quencher, and it is carried over on “Another late Night”, while the ambient sparkling of  Solar Panel, rightly takes its position on the hallowed B2 spot. It’s a tough House release from one of the best labels out there today, both sonically and visually.

 

The Burrell Connection – Hyper/Orbit (Craigie Knowes) 12″

What is the burrell connection? Is it somehow related to House legends, Rheji and Ronaldo Burrell? Is this the Burrell brother from another mother?  There’s a very prominent UK sound to the Burrell Connection that belies any… uhm Burrell connection.

The House maverick, who we believe hails from Scotland, has got a certain rough-and-ready approach and broodiness to his sound that combines just the amount of fear and body for a House track to survive on some of the more alternative dance floors.

 

Violently swinging elbows through on “Hyper/Orbit” through breakbeat arrangements dripping with in the sweltering psychedelica of acid loops and sub-bass encounters of a dub kind, The Burrell Connection delivers four tracks that show absolutely no exercise in restraint.

“Hyper/Orbit” has got that indefinable UK house thing, that looks right past you into the depths of hell, like it’s seen some shit that you couldn’t even begin to comprehend. Channeling something of that UK bass culture into House, the Burrell Connection is a potent weapon, one that needs to be played on that Funktion One system downstairs.

 

Kasper Marott – Keflavik EP (Seilscheibenpfeiler) 12″

After the intensity of the Burrell Connection, we need a moment and this release from Danish producer Kasper Marott has all the right ingredients. The A-side and the title track of this release has a very charming melodic synth that borders on the fringes of trance, without getting too cheesy. At rack that doesn’t take itself too seriously it puts a smile on your face and a bounce in your step.

 

There’s a Lo-Fi electro vibe to the entire record and in the more solemn moments of “Microworld” and “Megatu” it’s more refined in our opinion. While Keflavik entices you to lean  into the record, the B-side is the real allure of Keflavik. Synth lines sparkle at the very top end like a xylophone made from glass, with a very amiable disposition playing through the entire record. It’s impossible to not like this record.

 

André Bratten – Lim / Recreation 26B (Smalltown Supersound) 12″

What was supposed to be a record a month through 2017, is now a trilogy in its second episode and a third slated for when Smalltown Supersound and André feel like it – apparently November 30th. Like “Un / Pax Americana” this one is a limited release with no re-issues planned. Although if you missed out on the last one, we believe Roland might have a copy or two still floating about.

“The downbeat, left-field offering demonstrates a continuation of the Norwegian producer’s brilliance, which seems to recognise the importance of his skraggle-house predecessors whilst simultaneously taking on new territory in terms of his own production and sound.” Whatever Bleep, this is just André Bratten living out his deepest Aphex Twin,fantasies, and that’s a good thing; We don’t want him wallowing in the mundane.

We’ll steer clear of the usual clichés that usually accompany this style of club music, terms like mind-bending. From the electro-acid of “Lim” to the fast-paced ghoulish synth work of “Recreation 26B”, Bratten actually maneuvers this release towards the centre from left-field, in a spot where it’s not completely impossible to fit it into a DJ set. The bold raucous Techno “Math ilium Ion” are but a distant memory, and there are absolutely no traces left of the Disco Tech of “Be a man You ant”, and through these last two releases, it’s the most consistent we’ve found André Bratten to ever be. That’s until the next album, at least.

We’re big fans of Mr. Bratten so we’ll jump on any release, but these last two 12 inches from Smalltown Supersound does seem to have softened the producers sound a little, not quite to the more misty-eyed extent of his albums, but certainly to a point where it’s more approachable for the uninitiated listener. Something just seems to have cliqued for us across these two releases and we look forward to last of the trilogy later this month.

 

L.B. Dub Corp – Roar (Stroboscopic Artefacts) 10″

It doesn’t quite “roar” as much as it growls, but then again, Luke Slater’s releases as LB Dub Corp has always kind of snarled at you. Whereas his other aliases like Luke Slater and Planetary Assault systems are generally traditional Detroit takes on Techno, L.B Dub Corp is a little more unusual and it’s no surprise that it finds itself on Stroboscopic Artefacts today, a label known for its more opaque future vision of Techno.

 
 

Repetitive loops that stubbornly meander without much evolution don’t often make for wholly interesting music, but Mr. Slater finds some innovative ways to make it still sound progressive. Kick drums distorting and contorting under their own weight and organic rhythms born from some cyborg tribe, strike a transcending ritual mood on this record that pulls the fabric of time out from underneath you.

Even as you try to analyse the very static loops contained on a track like “Hard Wax”, it comes to an abrupt end in which you’ve lost seven minutes of your life without realising it. The repetitive nature of the music, immerses you completely, repeating like a mantra that coaxes the listener over to a higher plane.

 

*Filter Musikk is back at Jæger on the 23rd of November with MANOID and Ben Sims and Frædag. 

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