Friday, August 21, 2009

Pummeler / Derek Rogers - Juggernaut / Simmer (Stunned Records CS)

Well it feels like forever but here it is, fully formed and ready for anyone willing to receive it. With a full two-plus months between batches (not so long by most label standards) Stunned has reemerged, just in time for back-to-school detox sessions. And of course it's another winner, packing a full eight bands into five releases and making it all feel just so right. Not a rushed number on any of em.

Thought I'd start with this damage from Denmark based Mikkel V. Dunkerley and his Pummeler project and, on the flip, the synth excursions of Derek Rogers, whose slow ascent seems to finally be heating up a tad. First side's a monster, with both artist moniker and piece title pretty much hitting the nail on the head. The whole thing moves from thick black swathes of crush to ominous cave entry beckonings that really capitalize on creepy come-hither brews. Pouring buckets over here right now and thunder's rolling in something ominous, which is pretty much the perfect backdrop to such blustery stuff. The four tracks each glide right along into each other, little pauses representing breaths between gusts. "Juggernaut" might be the most brutal, but the creepy quotient goes up a notch or two with "The Sialagogue I and II" and the closing "Imago," whose little vocal groans and stuttering bellow give it a real trapped, restless hostility feel. Sinister but also well enough gone from the present world that it doesn't feel too tyrannical. Too zonked to kill, maybe a nap's in order. Still enough streams of static to remind you what's underneath though.

The Rogers side is similarly zonked, but not quite so brooding. More glitched out and giddy than heavy and hindered. Little synth blips doodle about in squiggly go nowhere moves that sound like a tyke sticking forks into various appliances and seeing what the circuits feel like. The derangement begins young. Whole thing kinda reminds me of those kiddie work benches where you gotta slam the shaped blocks in the right holes, which might teach them shapes and colors but also gives them a solid lesson in how to let loose wrong way style. As the thing moves along it gives off a kind of glow that moves away from the playful feel and into more volumetric sound bubbles that hover around and fill the space quite nicely, taking on fuzzed out melodies that boil over into blown out pink passages before softly settling down like feathered rain drops into some unseen glen. In many ways these parts feel a little like the antecedent to Pummeler's unrelenting strength. But there's a different strength on hand here too, and sometimes the feel moves toward pure electronic hiss, taking on a kind of white hum that feels less like a beckoning from beyond than it does mere happening in the here and now with little to no regard whether anything goes anywhere ever again. It's trying to tell you something. Cool split from a nice new batch, with more of the killer diagram collages so prevalent in recent runs. More to come shortly for sure.

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