If the Mayans are right, tonight marks our last night on Earth together. Which is outrageous — we’re still only halfway through Mad Men series 4! Luckily with the chance to finally step aboard the converted MS Stubnitz warship – the planned highlight of this year’s bungled Bloc Festival – Wavey Tones’ Apochristalypse Party brings a suitably dystopian lineup and location for the occasion.
Though he has just one record to its name, the brilliance of “Meditations on Afrocentrism” makes Romare possibly the capital’s most exciting new producer. Utilizing samples of black music stretching from Africa to America – he sews a patchwork that travels up the delta blues to the manic footwork rhythms of Chicago. No dry academic exercise, an innate pop ear weaves these sources into something special.
As history will tell you, boarding a ship with Shackleton isn’t always a great idea. Luckily when it’s the master producer we’re talking about you’re in much safer hands. It seems a simpler time when Shackleton’s Skull Disco imprint was lumped in with the bass wobblers. It soon became clear though that his sound was an entirely new creature. Bass heavy, exotic and utterly bewitching, with each release – his Perlon records, his Drawbar Organ EPS, his Fabric mix composed solely of his own material – he follows the rabbit further down the hole.
While always busy this year marked a career high for Shackleton with the release of his debut album proper. Alongside Scott Walker’s latest magnum opus, “Music for the Quiet Hour” has to be one of the most singularly uncompromising musical visions of recent memory. Over an hour in length, Shackleton entwines his bleak vision of a scorched world with paranoid missives from spoken word artist Tenfold Vengeance. Elements of techno spout up here and there only to fizzle out, a sustained sense of disorientation replacing any simple build and release. One constant in this maelstrom are those trademark complex drum arrangements – using Middle Eastern instrumentation without ever stepping into token orientalism. Percussive sounds are cut up and reconfigured to create new apocalyptic salvos — the perfect soundtrack to the end of the world.
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Wavey Tones Apochristalypse Party with Shackleton at MS Stubnitz, Gallions Reach E16, Friday 21 December. Tickets and information.
Image used with permission