We sit sprawled within the nebula-grey walls of our collective zine. Drifting amongst the vast bodies that exert their eternal pull on our fragile mass. Directionless and infinite; endless inquiry is expended on our destination, but we simply do not know; mere amateurs that we are at this low-budget journey. All we can do is gaze at the sights.
The industrious and prolific Oneohtrix Point Never returns to these shores with (appropriately enough) Returnal, his latest album that came out last week on Editions Mego. Pretty much all of it’s been covered on other blogs but thankfully the album’s so chock full of gems that we could find one track that hasn’t hit the Hype Machine just yet.
Daniel Lopatin’s vast analogue electronics slide once more into life amidst the vast expanse of silence that exists for a moment at the start of Where Does Time Go, their bubbling, oscillating waves lapping at the air. If this was meant as a meditation on the irrepressibility of time, on the ability to lose yourself in something beautiful only to find weeks have passed – it’s fairly successful. The looping oscillations never retreat, instead providing a lattice with which to thread the washes of melody that fade in and out – their purpose glimpsed only through a veil, obscured and fleeting.
We love it when people name things after things they love. The URL of this site being the prime example of us living by that maxim. Someone calling themselves No UFO’s could only go one of two ways. Thankfully for all involved the first thing we received from them was the Soft Coast album. It’s not techno but I’m sure Mr Atkins would approve – moving, as it does, between some of the founding blocks of techno: the early electronic throb of Chris & Cosey, the steamy fizz of electro (here slowed with one thumb on the tape), hell, there’s even one track called Cajmere Dreams which would be nice to think of as a documentary.
Many tracks are snatches, attempts perhaps at understanding the function these sounds have. A few are longer and they are glorious.
00/00/2010 begins with nothing more than a slow, looped bass guitar straight from the bar of a David Lynch western, joined eventually by both a suitably distorted guitar and muffled, far off vocal: all disinterred, stoic, warning. As so it rolls. Suicide-al tendencies on display. Around two and a half minutes in we’re exposed to a horn blown like a tranquillised James Chance. Where infernal energy has finally deserted him and he’s left, in our imagined Lynch western, to prop up the bar and breath fragile life into notes that last an eternity.
Soft Coast by No UFO’s is out now on Nice Up International. There are only a few left so get yours here. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
As some of you may have seen on the internet the last few days, we’ve been invited to participate in a new website called Altered Zones. Being the endlessly curious lot that we are we it would have been churlish to say no. 20JFG will still be here doing the same thing it’s always done – scampering about in its own amateurish way, writing about music that we like and we hope you like too.
Our contribution to Altered Zones won’t be unfamiliar to those of you that read this everyday. Altered Zones is for the people that don’t. Saying that, if you like the stuff you read here then the odds are you’ll like some of the stuff other people post over there.
Of course if you’re deeply allergic to Pitchfork Media Inc. then FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DON’T CLICK THAT LINK. It’ll burn your mouse finger. Stay here with us, it’s safer that way.