Artwork by Yöshi Sodeöka
Although Pre-Cert Home Entertainment is half-assedly trying to shroud the project in mystery, Slant Azymuth’s self-titled LP bears a sizable share of resemblance to the projects of its collaborators, Andy Votel of the Finders Keepers label and Demdike Stare. The three are known more than anything for their bottomless record collections and the expert ways they’ve managed to synthesize them into dark and otherworldly electronic music. And Slant Azymuth is an undeniably dark record.
The record is composed of a series of long pieces broken up by brief, fairly disturbing “Intervisions.” Opener, “Gray Equidae,” breaks from solemn drones into a slow, ritualistic syncopations and delirious, insane horns. “Black Crolyn” is a sure highlight, continuing the creakiness of “Intervision 1″ before diving into a serene, delicately textured aquatic space that reminds of the mellower end of Chain Reaction. “Helicial Scan” melds bombastic, thundering drums with ominous, spiraling synths, and “Intervision 3″ and the closing “U-Matic Thrill” combination work with submerged, clanging, gamelan-esque structures.
Slant Azymuth feels oblique in its pacing, taking the listener down a wandering path where the surprises — and there are surprises — are nevertheless chained to the overarching, disorienting darkness. It can be a lot to take, especially over the course of repeated listens, and even compared to Demdike Stare’s work, it feels overwhelmingly obscure. Still, it’s certainly an effort worth marveling at; its source material is so smartly interwoven that the lines between sample and original production are completely obfuscated.