Elgato, Links / Sun

lebbeus woods
Artwork by Lebbeus Woods

[Galdoors]

Elgato makes some cold-blooded music, but there’s a counterweight to the intense formalism. Its lack of outward dynamism gives it a mesmerizing inner life. “Links” and “Sun” are just the eighth and ninth tracks the producer has released since debuting on Hessle Audio in 2010. Here he’s applying his reptilian touch to deep-house tropes, and the results are finely balanced on the cusp of engrossing and uncanny as per usual. Elgato’s approache to sound design is approximately like having a rock in your shoe: the tracky elements listeners expect to tell the whole story just kind of loop with rigid finality, but they exist within a cavernous, diffuse sense of space where something fugitive is going on. Much of the action on this disc happens below the surface of audibility, sub-bass so deep that the audible part is like a dorsal fin or the tip of an iceberg, hinting at the invisible ponderousness beneath. The trebly parts, particularly on “Links,” sound both smudged and friable. This makes for music that’s as corporeal as it is intangible — the bass is too physical to hear completely, and the more decorative sounds have the aura of objects dipped in ectoplasm and dusted with pulverized mica.

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There isn’t much aural comfort on “Links,” which pairs the most basic possible drum programming (the same sharply EQ-ed kick-and-hat pattern that runs through the cycling, queasy pads of “Sun”) with the polyrhythmic ebb and flow of a male voice speaking Polish and the chunky report of a melody that sounds like a dope remix of a doorbell chime. Consciously, even the mauve babble of that voice isn’t enough to make the track seem inhabitable, yet “Links” is the sort of space you want to revisit compulsively. It exerts a strange, gravitational attraction. You kind of grope your way through the track. So little seems to be going on, yet the big picture remains difficult to pull together. Elgato takes his experiments seriously; like Joe and Pearson Sound, he is making tracks that function in the club and as R&D.

Maciej Latawiec  on February 24, 2014 at 7:09 PM

Poland is in Central Europe :)

littlewhiteearbuds  on February 24, 2014 at 10:38 PM

Review updated to reflect this :)

Trackbacks

Little White Earbuds January Charts 2014 – Little White Earbuds  on January 27, 2015 at 7:52 PM

[…] Sound] (buy) 07. Hakim Murphy, “Vatitio” (Murdoc Remix) [Mindshift Records] (buy) 08. Elgato, “Links” [Galdoors] (buy) 09. Shackleton, “Silver Keys” [Woe To The Septic Heart] (buy) 10. […]

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