Release Date: Sep 24, 2012
Record label: Tri Angle
How far off of the grid can you stretch techno and still call it techno? That's the question Bristolian producer Vessel has been gradually working towards since he emerged last year. Seb Gainsborough's productions—haunted and permanently skewed—have descended into an abyss consumed by post-punk and noise flourishes. On his debut album Order of Noise, Gainsborough presents an entire world rendered in black and dull chrome.Much like Actress' R.I.P., on first impression Order of Noise is an intermittently dazzling array of fragments that don't quite piece together.
Vessel are weird; it must be part of the agreement they signed with Tri-Angle Records. While other acts on the celebrated electronic label are known for hip-hop (Clams Casino) or psychedelic Björk imitations (Ayshay), Sebastian Gainsborough produces corrupt, crackling techno, deviating occasionally into mutilated IDM. Order of Noise may be his cleverest release to date: impenetrable on first glance but revealing a beauty, like a Magic Eye for your ears.
VesselOrder Of Noise[Tri Angle; 2012]By Will Ryan; October 10, 2012Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOGVessel was a producer in the midst of the grind last year. A constant presence in the Bristol dance scene and one-fifth of the active Young Echo Collective with like-minded producers Kahn, Jabu, El Kid and Ishan Sound, Seb Gainsborough released his debut EP, Nylon Sunset, on Left_Blank, which made enough of a splash to get the attention of New York-based left-field electronic imprint, Tri Angle. According to Gainsborough, he hadn't even considered a full-length until Tri Angle labelhead Robin Carolan approached him specifically about producing one.
A number of Bristol artists have soundtracked the early morning waning of post-club buzz over the years. Vessel, part of Bristol's Young Echo collective, feels like someone who's been there and experienced those hours many times over. Vessel is one of many monikers used by Bristol resident Seb Gainsborough, who has gained some momentum via a series of 12"s released over the past year.
Bristol’s Seb Gainsborough’s dark electronic work as Vessel skitters by on unexpected sound choices, though there’s not much shocking about the resulting material. Gainsborough’s music works out like a game of Three-card Monte, its eccentric blend of industrial grit, ethereal vocal samples, and dubstep sub-bass scuttling between the stations. At its best, Vessel’s debut LP for Tri-Angle, Order of Noise makes you cock your head and wonder why you’d never heard that particular high-end squonk used in the place where a low-end splomp would usually go, the cards moving too fast to pick out the placement.
Sometimes it's all about the approach. On Order of Noise, the debut album from Sebastian Gainsborough (aka Vessel), vocals, samples and soundscapes are all treated as equals, resulting in a slurry of sound that remarkably works both as a mixtape comedown and as a salient whole. Flat-out refusing to move in a singular direction, much of Order of Noise is held together by Gainsborough's dark haze of layering and a molasses pace.
In some ways Young Echo, the six-strong Bristol collective of whom Vessel is a member, are your archetypal modern electronic musicians, catholic in their tastes and unafraid to cut broadly across genre. Their six-weekly (or thereabouts) online radio broadcasts run for five hours or more, and tend to branch outward from dub and soundsystem musics into grime, techno, house, songwriting and the murkier ends of the US underground. Presented in a manner that refuses to draw any distinctions between these various strains, the impression is of a group of young musicians at ease with their influences, and comfortable drawing them into orbit around one another.
It’s been a big twelve months for noted ‘witch house’ label Tri-Angle, home to the likes of AlunaGeorge and Holy Other; earlier this year, Vessel aka Bristol-based Sebastian Gainsborough became one of their latest signings. However, whilst many Tri-Angle acts have particularly hi-fi production values with overwhelming atmospherics, Vessel’s style is a lot more lo-fi which can sometimes detract from the often busy composition. His debut album ‘Order Of Noise’ is an amalgamation of the different sounds and textures that are saturating the electronic scene but with so many young producers making their way to the forefront of the music scene in 2012, simply recreating and slightly building upon previous efforts soon becomes forgettable.