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Pretty Sneaky

Outstanding, dubbed out, leftfield House rhythm trips

Pretty Sneaky move in the cracks between dub, free jazz, field recordings and minimalist electronics on another woozy batch of guess-again killers, this time via Meakusma.
Up top they pipe up an icy bit of macro dub, weaving melodica lines with tight, acidic steppers like some echo of early Pole, then let it pour out in a meditative, strolling style redolent of Tapes playing pencil-on-teacup percussion. Down below, the flipside floats on a minimalist organ-driven flex with phasing filters designed to carry heads into the clouds somewhere between Laraaji and Francis Bebey, before wrapping up a with a tenderly gauzy sort of Berlin dub exotica kiss-off.
Always a pleasure this lot.

Another vital addition to the mysterious Pretty Sneaky series of vinyl transmissions with this one released on the Meakusma label being particularly and pleasingly dubwise. As is customary none of the 4 tracks are named but it’s tracks 2 and 3 that really leapt out at me as something special, offering complementary yet opposing ying and yang like interpretations of dubwise electronic explorations with track 2’s darker post-punk influenced bass driven journey contrasting nicely with the sunny slo-mo ambient dub-house offered by track 3. Both equally compelling in their own unique ways.

Since they started self-releasing EPs in 2017, the identity of Berlin-based producer ‘concept’ Pretty Sneaky still eludes us. However, news of their first self-titled LP has got us jumping for joy, as the ambient dub impressionist has yet to release in any format other than EPs. Four 15-minute sides of sloshing, improv dub appear in the most impeccable quality, spanning blooping, modular IDM edges and hauntological, mellotronic ambient – reminiscent of some fantasy world in which Bibio, Terry Riley, Speaker Music and Wah Wah Wino formed a supergroup.

this is Pretty Sneaky …. BIG TIP!

Obwohl Pretty Sneaky in den vergangenen Jahren eine 12-Inch nach der anderen droppten, weiß kein Schwein, wer eigentlich hinter diesem Projekt steckt – dem Namen wird hier also schon mal über einen beachtlichen Zeitraum alle Ehre erwiesen. Via Mana erschien letztes Jahr das gleichnamige Debütalbum Pretty Sneaky, auf das nun eine weitere 12-Inch gleichen Namens mit vier unbenannten Tracks folgt.
Die klinken sich zwar eher bei fünf als 15 Minuten ein, führen den deliranten Dub voriger Veröffentlichungen aber auf ähnlich hohem Produktionsniveau fort, nur ohne Techno und Field Recordings, also eingängiger. Trotzdem verlangen diese rund 25 Minuten ein paar Durchgänge, um Suchteffekte zu erzeugen.
Tief zurückgelehnte Grooves durchziehen die ganze EP, deren Arrangements stilecht auf subtile Veränderungen setzen – alles klingt verschwommen, etwas lo-fi und ganz sanft positiv. Bemerkenswert dabei auch wieder: Trotz (oder gerade wegen) der bewussten Limitierung auf ein diesiges Sound-Repertoire, das manch eine*r vielleicht schon für ausgelutscht hielt, haben Pretty Sneaky eine völlig eigene Handschrift entwickelt, klingen sublim und frisch zugleich. Würden sie damit einen Liebesbrief an den Sommer schreiben – es wäre sicher ein berauschendes Fest.

Text by Nils Schlechtriemen

MEAKUSMAから、HARDWAX経由のホワイト盤でも知られるミステリアスアーチストPRETTY SNEAKYの12インチ。テクノ・ダブ、ベースラインの強靭なグルーヴ。
HARDWAX経由で、素性を伏せたままスタンプラベルのみの5枚のシングルをリリース、ロンドンの先鋭レーベル〈MANA〉からアルバムもリリースした匿名アーチストPRETTY SNEAKYが、先鋭アンダーグラウンド・ミュージックのイベントとして信頼をえるベルギーの〈MEAKUSMA〉のレーベルから12インチリリース!メランコリック&リズミックなA1、ダビーなベースラインテクノA2, B1はヘヴィーグルーヴなベース、単音がメロディックに軌道をたどるスローチューン、収録曲中最もレゲエ色濃いB2。提供された試聴音源に合わせてA SIDEは45回転で、B-SIDEは33回転で試聴をいれてます。 (サイトウ)

版元完売。昨年〈Mana〉から発表した2枚組LPが大変秀逸だった注目アクトによるニュー・タイトル。自身と同名の自主レーベルからシングル・リリースを続けてきたミステリアスなプロデューサー、Pretty Sneaky。〈Ostgut Ton〉や〈Delsin〉からの作品も知られるSHEDの変名とも噂されるこの人による最新シングルがベルギーの〈Meakusma〉から最新シングルを発表。90年代エレクトロニカ/IDMの美学を感じさせる極上アンビエント/ダブを全4曲収録した改作!デジタルなし、アナログ・オンリーでの発売につきお見逃しなく!

arkoada x meakusma

This coming weekend, in Berlin, don’t miss out on Meakusma x Arkaoda.
From November 12th till 14th, together with the great Arkaoda club in Berlin, we have set up a genuine three-nighter, featuring live performances and DJ-sets by Julia Reidy, Spivak, Thomas Bush, Laila Sakini, Bassae, Pretty Sneaky, Arthur, Gazza, Malvern Brume, TIBLSC, ML, Edition D’Art, 2 Morph, Sensu, Fog Puma, Iris, Yeahlena, Ugne Uma and Meakusma DJs. Two years ago, Arkaoda invited us to do a Meakusma night, we are thrilled to now go back.
From Julia Reidy’s music for processed and acoustic instruments, conjuring up non-traditional song forms which combine unstable harmonic territories, rhythmic elasticity and abstract narrative over-stretched, episodic forms, to Spivak, whose work is a play on the nuances and poetics of pop, her live performances jumping from intimate sonic liturgies to bursts of energetic and often deconstructed 90s inspired techno, to Thomas Bush who produces impressionist and experimental work full of distanced reflection and heartfelt alienation, to Laila Sakini’s work full of emotional breadth and ennui using a modest palette of piano, electronics and voice, to Pretty Sneaky who fuses dub basslines and dub aesthetics with free jazz-dynamics and who recently released on EP on Meakusma, to Malvern Brume whose experimental sound pieces move in an idiom all his own, to TIBSLC’s hazily ambiguous yet meticulously detailed sounds, hypersensitive to fleeting midnight moods, and many more. The full three days at Arkaoda will showcase some of the very unique talents at work in contemporary and electronic music.


Ostbelgien Province-de-Liege

Mutant Radio

Sets by Pretty Sneaky, Disrupt, Mark Cremins, Sensu, Kaneski and Meakusma DJs from last week’s Meakusma Radio Marathon on Mutant Radio are now available through the Mutant Radio Soundcloud page. Thanks to Mutant and all artists that participated! Tune in to hear some great sets here.

Outsiders w/ Pretty Sneaky

Tomorrow, 10 AM CET, tune into the fourth show of the Meakusma residency as part of the Outsiders series at Brussels-based Kiosk Radio. Doing the honours is Pretty Sneaky who released six 12inches of his unique take on dub, free jazz, field recordings and minimal music. His double album on Mana was universally acclaimed as one of 2020’s best records, for the musically fearless that is.
Pretty Sneaky’s mix delves into 20th century avant garde music, rhythmic experiment, abstract dub, ambient and much more. Just as his own productions, it plays with surface and profoundness, with the explicitly sweet and enchanting and their deceptive opposite. His work is among some of the most original music released in the past couple of years and this mix lifts the veil a bit on his influences and on what drives his own artistic perspective.

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