"Electronic Mastery!" - VERITY SHARP (LATE JUNCTION, BBC RADIO 3)*
Enigmatic electronic producer, Scaramanga Silk, issues his debut album five years early! He originally intended for ‘Designer Scribble’ to come out in the year 2021 as he felt the material was ‘too futuristic’ for the current climate. Luckily, we managed to convince him to bring the release date forward…
Hailing from an electronic core, the artist is clearly a product of the rave era but with a forward looking and experimental twist that encompasses other influences such as funk, techno, ambient, drum & bass, jazz, dub, r&b and more. When all these elements combine the resulting concoctions are heritage hybrids with a modern leftfield take.
Up to this point, Mr Silk has released a handful of productions, singles, eps and remixes. In recent years, these outings have found favour with Gideon Coe, Nemone, Eddy Temple-Morris, Cerys Matthews, Don Letts, Verity Sharp, Huw Stephens and John Kennedy across BBC 6 Music, BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 1 and XFM.
‘Designer Scribble’ kicks off with the sound system smasher, ‘Barakatuk’, a percussion heavy, Latin groover with killer warped basslines. ‘Macrynimyze’ is best described as ‘slow drum & bass’. In the past, funk breakbeats were sped up for ravers. Now, those drum & bass breaks are slowed down to create something altogether new.
The melancholy, ‘Alonely’ goes half-tempo with electro 808 beats fused with slurring bass, soundtrack strings and heart-wrenching piano – think Zero 7 meets Laurent Garnier. ‘Return To The One’ could be a slow drum & bass ode to the works of PFM and Burial with its cascading melodies and haunting vocals.
‘Life In The Faslow Lane’ is the party-tune - a slice of ‘hyper hip-hop’ where a dual-tempo approach combines with trance riffs, arcade machine hooks and exotic rhythms.
‘Blind Truth’ is a total rule breaker with shifting time signatures, changing rhythmic styles and a fusion of jazz, drum & bass, r&b and electro that keeps you guessing.
Low Poet surfaces for the sci-fi hip-hop number ‘Speak Without Tongues’ – a reflection on past-present-future communication.
‘The Voyage Beyond Andromeda’ Suite concludes the album as an epic 21 minute futurist concept piece across three tracks.
‘Soaring Above’ is vintage ambient space music but from a techno perspective with industrial loops, rave sub-bass and galactic atmospherics. This is the sort of thing John Serrie, The KLF and Bee Mask would deliver if stranded on a spaceship together.
‘They Have Taken Control’ resurrects the 1993 ‘jungle-tekno’ sound of Basement Records with tuff breakbeats over four-to-the-floor kicks. Watch out for the Reese bassline, lasers and distortion attack! To close, B-Fink arrives on the hypnotically beautiful ‘accelerating ambience’ of ‘Day Of A New Dawn’.
And the gifted Konx-Om-Pax (Planet Mu) supplies the cover artwork.
Across ten tracks, Scaramanga Silk offers up a unique album that takes in history, mangles it through the machines and turns out intriguing abstractions that sound original and fresh. You won’t hear another record like this before 2021!
Thanks & Respect, Micro Spiral
www.microspiral.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
November 2, 2016 4:54pm ET by Urban Dubz