Designed by Philip Marshall.
Caps previously released on Optimo Music.
Stakes is a gorgeous and gorgeously far out album, integrating elements of psychedelic rock and dub, blending in melodic ideas that are at times abstracted, at times soothing. It is pastoral music for the digital age, where raw bursts of noise and energy dislocate and set the record straight. There is even a croonerish feel to some of its tracks, croonerish from a distorted future that is. Stakes is an experience in eclecticism and musical logic. It dissolves structures and ideas and turns musically recognisable elements on their head.
Modern Power electronics…TIP!!
Belgium’s reliably surprising Meakusma host Philipp Matalla’s curious debut LP contorting outernational folk and squashed illbient downbeats into fractal psychedelia.
Strange things are afoot in ’Stakes’, which advances on a decade of releases for Prins Thomas’ Internasjonal and Optimo, and more vaporous ambient electronics as Maxxa/M Pounds with a bolder incursion of experimental interzones. Any semblance of club form or function is out the window on this one, replaced by sheer psychedelic expression that balances lush and brutalist urges in the music’s kaotic harmonies and distorted structures that are possibly best compared with the hallucinatory nature of Kay Logan’s Otherworld works or the bittersweet gnarl of Leyland Kirby’s overlooked Intrigue & Stuff series.
Evoking low res AI emulations of panoramic scapes, or a computer struggling to simulate a sort of noise exotica, the music snags the imagination with its detuned scales and granular textures that get right under the skin. The shearing chromatic bursts of ‘In_blank’ trigger a collection that curdles and diffracts between stately ceremonial procession on ‘Same’ to sawn-off illbient on ‘Clip_Bars’. His feel for expressively detuned tone is most potent on ‘Plus’, and elusively gloopy in ‘North’, while ‘Tarko’ feels like Fennesz doing trap. Strange but true.