King Britt presents Fhloston Paradigm, Fhloston Paradigm

[Hyperdub]


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Hyperdub continue their ascent into a musical space relatively far removed from the hardcore continuum with this release from King Britt in his Fhloston Paradigm guise. But while the Philadelphia-based producer may be best known for a classic house discography spanning the best part of 20 years, the emphasis here is on cranky analog sketches that summon an intergalactic vibe. And, judging by the haphazard and overwhelmingly hallucinatory feel of these three tracks, rest assured that we’re talking Philip K. Dick and Sun Ra, as opposed to “Star Trek.” “Chasing Rainbows” is a rather sinister piece. A muted brace of chopped jazz breaks are offset against a piercing key drone. Rising strings come in, deep menacing chords plink away and the levels are shot all over the place. It calls to mind a 70s B-movie overture that has been written — quickly, as if to impending deadline by an addled and harassed resident composer — on cheap malfunctioning equipment. Two minutes in, it’s all over.

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By proxy, “The Chase” is the epic centerpiece here. A rollicking eight-minute excursion, its urgency and drama are ramped up alongside the energy. Break work again features heavily, as do stuttering stabs, wildly oscillating leads and other fuzzy oddities, often covered in echo. It sounds like an extended and unplanned sketch is taking place before your ears — and indeed, it may well be. Particularly enjoyable is the G-funk-esque synth lead that shuffles into view at around three minutes, initially incongruous yet rather fitting in the end. Last comes “Liloo’s Seduction.” A twitching flicker of an 808 line is offset by a twangy synth that evokes Roy Budd’s seminal theme from the 70’s gangster movie “Get Carter.” Again, though, it’s the dynamics that make this music special. Its levels are erratic, the arrangement is loose and you get the feeling that Britt is having great fun here. As such, this comes as a highly recommended EP. Quirky and idiosyncratic, it remains an exhilarating and wild-eyed trip into the outer reaches of soundtrack-infused electronics.

Amir Alexander  on March 29, 2012 at 3:54 PM

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