Those keeping tabs on the crude daubings of Cave Paintings know the score by now. One session, one take. All analog, all Andy Blake, mastered directly to the vinyl lathe, with no digital interference. Cave Paintings appears to be the most personal of all of Blake’s passion projects, but after the ferociously prolific and short-lived of output of Dissident, and with the newest of his new labels, In Plain Sight, already snapping at its heels, it’ll be interesting to see how much more thrust Cave Paintings (with its limitations and occasional output) will have over Blake’s need to regularly salt the earth and move on. For the meantime at least, Cave Paintings reveals a rare bit of single-mindedness from the Brit.
With a raw house cut on its X-side and and a lopsided techno beast on the Y, Cave Paintings 3 falls rhythmically between 1, which jacked in spite of its infinite and strictly sequenced repeating patterns, and 2, which featured spectacular spirographs of odd tangents and shifting angles. 3 points to a new preoccupation of Blake’s, with the upper registers of the hardware spectrum, and particularly with prodding the polite boundaries of sound distortion. There are nuances to be found within both tracks, but at its most intense moments “3X” savors flooding the senses with frequencies that seem designed purely to upset teeth fillings and sinuses. “3Y” is in turns both easier and harder, swooping, throbbing and restless, but its otherwise otherworldly atmosphere acts like negative space, keeping it on the safe side of disorientation. Although the top-heavy sound quality of Cave Paintings 3 may be an acquired taste, it still naturally selects itself into the pool of successful all-analog excursions.