Thursday, 14 June 2012

Akkord - Persistence / Nexus (2012)

I love the stark sense of minimalism that surrounds the work of Akkord. From the cover art used on their two releases so far and laser-sharp label logo, to the lack of hard facts about who is associated with the Akkord name. I did some research online before writing this piece to try and find out a little more background information but, other than a few snippets, came up blank. I can't help but feel frustratingly satisfied by this to be honest, it's a refreshing trait to display in this age of information overload and media saturation that some people have no need to shout about who they are, what they are and what they stand for. It seems enough for the members of Akkord (if there are indeed more than one of them!) to let their productions do the talking.

All I do know about this outfit is that they are a Manchester collective who grew up on the rural outskirts of this great industrial city. Their blog contains references to the effects of frequency response on human physiology and some stunning photographs which were presumably taken around their place of origin.

After having been greatly impressed by their debut 12" titled simply Akkord001, I immediately grabbed this one and was struck from the off by how much their sound has crystallised and been refined in the four months since that debut transmission.

First track 'Persistence' is ushered in on a wave of environmental ambience, the wafting drone gives way to a rolling snare and kick mesh before the growling bassline emerges atop thick sub hits. A pitched down spoken word sample is used at two points in the track, the second time it appears it is punctuated by warped flickers of a middle eastern inflected vocal and what sounds like a Japanese flute.

On the flip, 'Nexus' builds it's minimal rhythmic framework on a lush synth wash and throws in stuttering vocal snippets. Another spoken word sample appears briefly, this time billowing in reverb and surrounded by dubwise pads.

Akkord use each of these sparse elements to stunning effect over the course of this release which clocks in just shy of 12 minutes making it so much more than the sum of it's parts. On the strength of these two emissions alone, this Manchester collective are definitely ones to watch over the coming months, highly recommended.

This release was initially issued on 12" and as a limited run of 10" solid white vinyl but both of these appear to have now sold out at source. A digital download version is available through Boomkat.

Δkkord have a blog on Tumblr which is worth checking out, there is also a link to download a free track - 'Submerged', which doesn't appear on either of their releases.

Stream a preview of the 12" on Soundcloud;

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