Release Date: Dec 11, 2012
Record label: Pan
Genre(s): Electronic, Club/Dance
The aesthetic of PAN and its founder Bill Kouligas could be said to perfectly encapsulate where we're at in late 2012: a place where homespun experimentalism and the academic avant-garde meld with visceral body music in new and unexpected ways. PAN releases from NHK'KoyxeN, Heatsick, SND and others have been among the finest of the year, but it seems that Kouligas has saved his best till last. In the past month, Lee Gamble has delivered not one but two superlative records that both encapsulate the PAN ethos and push it into new realms: first Diversions 1994-1996, a 12-inch of jungle abstractions, and now Dutch Tvashtar Plumes.
Thanks to the methods he used to construct this month's Diversions 1994-1996 EP - dissecting his personal collection of jungle mixtapes and weaving their beatless segments together - most commentators discussing Lee Gamble's current output through PAN do so in terms mainly weighted toward dance music. Which is accurate enough: jungle and its precursor, hardcore rave, are all-pervasive presences on Diversions, occasionally bubbling up from beneath its surface ambience to express themselves as ecstasy-addled whoops and rushy streams of hi-hats, and its full-length album companion Dutch Tvashar Plumes is dominated by exquisitely expressive forms of abstract techno. But Gamble's recent music also strongly links into a lineage exploring space, sound and memory that runs through both Lynch's Eraserhead (that insidious, hollow hiss hinting at the mechanical horrors lurking just out of sight) and The Caretaker's menacing 1999 debut Selected Memories From The Haunted Ballroom (in which James 'V/Vm' Kirby stumbled around The Shining's empty Overlook Hotel, visualising the ghosts of its former residents in an attempt to obscure the profoundly isolated, blood-stained reality).