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Ekoplekz – Influkz EP

More Than Human

Ekoplekz - Influkz EPBoard a hovercraft to ride the autobahn of yr dreams on this lovely fissure from Ekoplekz, via the good sonic alchemists at More Than Human Records.

2014 has been a big year for Bristol’s Nick Edwards, following two of his highest-profile — and highest production value — releases on the braindance juggernaut Planet Mu. Mike Paradinas, AKA µ-Ziq, worked head-to-head with Edwards in sequencing the material, then presenting the material with a nice lustrous sheen of a mastering job and coating each in saliva-inducing artwork. It was Ekoplekz at his glossiest and most accessible, although the sounds in the grooves were still signature.

On the Influkz EP it seems that Ekoplekz is getting back to his roots; back to the

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Ekoplekz – Rock La Bibliotek

West Norwood Cassette Library

Ekoplekz - Rock La BibliotekFollowing his recent albums Four Track Mind and Unfidelity, Ekoplekz has now released a six-track EP on the wonderfully-monikered West Norwood Cassette Library label. Rock La Bibliotek is in a different format and has a totally different vibe. On it he offers up a more minimalist sound, and while the richer radiophonic aspects of the albums has been put to one side, with some distinctly retro sounding bleeps and squelches, the Ekoplekz approach to production still renders tracks that are dripping with atmosphere.

At times quite dark, the collection also reaches into psychedelic territory through layered, progressive trancey episodes and some contorted dissonance. However, in throwing the more conventional sound palette out the window, Nick Edwards has nonetheless

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Ekoplekz – Four Track Mind

Planet Mu

Ekoplekz - Four Track MindEkoplekz‘s Four Track Mind isn’t necessarily Unfidelity‘s evil twin – more like its astral double that departs the flesh for regions unknown. And since Unfidelity was already well beyond the Oort Cloud, that’s pretty far out indeed.

The music was culled from the same process that yielded Unfidelity, released in March of this year, which means two double LPs in less than 12 months for the illustrious Planet Mu. For those eagerly tracing the lineage of Delia Derbyshire, Brian Hodgson, King Tubby and Bristolian bassweight, we are living in a new alchemical age.

Nick Edwards‘ career could serve as a road map for the cultural alarmists and doomsayers crying “the death of this and that.” He has weathered every storm

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Ekoplekz – Unfidelity

Planet Mu

Ekoplekz - UnfidelityEkoplekz is almost a priori; you could conceive of him from your armchair. Or at least you’d think you could. He’s come up thick and fast (he’s got a release schedule that shames us all) and I doubt whether his methodology has changed much since he first plugged that Eko organ into a analogue delay way back in the pre-flood (pre-Flood? There’s a thought) years. For once, the press release nails it: “…this is Ekoplekz’s most satisfying album to date and we hope you [think so] too.” This will satisfy in the sense that it won’t disappoint existing fans; the key Radio-Tubby-TG elements are here (on “Pressure Level” in particular I swear I can hear Cosey‘s cornet breaking through the

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eMMplekz – Your Crate Has Changed

Mordant Music

EMMPlekz - Your Crate Has ChangedOn Your Crate Has Changed, the chimerical union of the wicked Baron Mordant and resident sonar technician Nick Edwards, better known to the world as Ekoplekz, eMMplekz rally against the digital diaspora with bricks, knives; words and confusion.

If you picture the polished perfection of pop culture glitterati as the grotesque, stretch-faced bureaucracy of Terry Gilliam‘s Brazil, then eMMplekz are the freedom fighters and rogue air-conditioning repairmen. The resistance lives in spidered catacombs of dead tech and obsolete, mouldering information, praying in dusty tongues in the dead of night.

While the freedom of information yields many wonders (like the ability to hear this music in the first place, most likely), there is a danger in the gradual mapping and

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Various Artists – The Outer Church

Front & Follow

The Outer ChurchYou enter a dark theater. Yr not entirely sure where you are, or how you got there. You don’t know what’s going on. You walk into the flickering shadows, the interior of a theater swims into halflight, shadowy patrons whispering, pockets of activity in the corner. A young man beats a bone drum in a ceremonial dirge in the corner, a woman in blood is speaking Baudelaire on a raised platform. Over the loudspeakers, the textured rub of raw granite, snippets of sing-song, recordings of the London Tube. A car chase flickers to life on the vellum canvas of an enormous movie screen; the music rises to a fever pitch. A detuned fiddler arises from nowhere, adds her discordant bow to

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Ekoplekz – Devesham Dub

Sex Lies Magnetic Tape

Ekoplekz - Devesham DubIt seems as if Nick Edwards, sometimes known as Ekoplekz, must sleep in his studio, nestled in tangles of thick rubbery cables, lulled by blinking red-and-green LEDs. He’s released 12 albums and six EPs under that guise since 2010, while recently instating the Nunton Complekz and Ensemble Skalectrik projects, as well. The man clearly has something to say. In a way, he is an Archetypal Noise Dude, releasing reams of semi-obscure/anonymous tape sculptures and concrete hymns, festooned with grim, gritty SF dystopian wrapping. It’s mysterious, ya know, not clouded with a bunch of personality. Yr not entirely sure WHAT’s going on, and in that, it makes you want to know more.

Ekoplekz’s music could be playing in a long, concrete fallout

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Nick Edwards – Plekzationz

Editions Mego

This seems chunky and real compared to the other Ekoplekz releases. You can buy it at Sainsbury’s. It’s out there, in all senses but it also feels like something of an end, like Nick Edwards is drawing a line, er, under the sand; it’s like a statement of where he’s been and how far he’s come. Nick’s always been very willing to give up his influences, both in conversation and in the music itself but on this release it seems like he’s offering each of the influential strands a long track of their own.

“Chance Meets Causality Uptown” keeps his Upsetter riddim king thing going and is almost… mellow in places, with a slowpoke bass guitar sound amongst the patented eko squiggles and

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Ekoplekz – Scalectrikz

Mordant Music

The sound of two hands not clapping.

This is the latest monster release from the ever-prolific Ekoplekz, this time seeing him flip cassettes from selected live bits and bobs (more bobs than bits, judging from his live performances) to studio improvisations and back again. There’s a wealth of material here, unformed and fruity, mangled like he likes it (like we like it) Echo dominates, nothing goes unmodulated, sounds screwed out of wires, savaged by electrics and misfires (and miswires). It’s perhaps superfluous to focus on individual tracks because these work best in bunches of three to five, like fingers in a fist, with knuckles knotted by knob-twists (the boy’s gonna have arthritis at this rate).

To my ears, a lot of this sounds like a return to

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Ekoplekz – Dromilly Vale EP

Public Information

A little sliver of electronic gargling from the man of the moment, Ekoplekz. If you want to know which moment, you’ll perhaps have to remember that Dromilly Vale is Nick’s imaginary recording studio, a hybrid of King Tubby’s on Dromilly Ave, Kingston and the Radiophonic Workshop’s Maida Vale studio in London. This is 1973 re-imagined uchronically; maybe Dick Mills and Lee Perry did hang out, swapping tape delays, pressing buttons that weren’t theirs; maybe John Baker just couldn’t stop putting some of his jazzy tangles all over Augustus Pablo’s melodica lines; maybe they swapped close-miked pocket protectors over Rum and Pineapple…

But if all that’s making you think this is just gonna lope along like a comedy walk then be prepared; this can get quite… noisy in places. “Jugglin’ for Jesus” will frighten the cat inside your brain with

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Ekoclef – Tapeswap

Magic and Dreams

In China Mieville’s wondrous The City And The City, the city of Beszel exists in more or less the same space as the city of Ul Qoma. The cities interweave, crosshatch; citizens unsee their counterparts in the other city, buildings themselves merge but don’t merge. Neighbours live next to each other but dutifully don’t notice their proximity, in fact are forbidden from doing so by the mysterious Breach, which is both an action and a powerful agent of order. To see what is there is to breach. To breach is to invoke Breach.

The cities are post USSR, post-world. They share many of the same characteristics but remain absolutely, qualitatively different. They are separated by language, by intention, by Kant’s categories. It vaguely reminds me of that Wittgenstein quote about how, if a lion could speak our language, we

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Ekoplekz – Intrusive Incidentalz Vol 1

Punch Drunk

The title is revealing: throwaway and heartfelt, this is certainly intrusive (this is not ambient, except in the sense of enveloping) and it is a little incidental, a little sketchy in both senses of the word (cf everything else by Ekoplekz) but there’s more to it than that. There’s something else here. This is Ekoplekz unleashing his noise horde and the title might almost be read as a minor apology, a little note to the many fans out there that says: don’t worry, this isn’t the real Ekoplekz album, this is a sidetrack, an open note, a few preliminary dashes. This feels like a deliberate attempt to destabilise, to show us that we haven’t got Ekoplekz yet… maybe he’s worried that those scary hauntological folks will adopt him against his will like a Madonna child…

This is a suffocatingly intense

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Conrad Schnitzler – Live ’72/Ekoplekz – Live @ Dubloaded

Further

You know the quote, Arthur C. Clarke’s finest: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” You can only imagine how mind-blown people must have been when Conrad Schnitzler cranked up his machines way back in the early 70s but his influence has been written out of the major theses on the development of electronic music, perhaps because of his affiliation with the hair-synth of Tangerine Dream, perhaps because he slipped away from them just before they really hit the big time. He was also a founding member of Kluster, of course, before jumping ship just before everyone started pretending they’d liked them all along too. His influence continues, though and it’s entirely fitting that these two records are released at the same time, on the same label.

These two records, both released on vinyl thicker than your arm (the Schnitzler

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