Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Ekoplekz - Intrusive Incidentalz Vol 2

Not content with delivering one of the absolute highlights of the year with his stunning Plekzationz album last month, Nick Edwards now gives us the second volume of Intrusive Incidentalz via Punch Drunk records. It's no secret that Edwards is a huge favourite here at so much noise but critically speaking, he's yet to put a foot wrong. Over the course of 2012, he has issued several essential transmissions commencing with the Dromilly Vale EP back in February, a split tape with Wanda Group and the gargantuan thirty five track Skalectrikz double cassette pack in addition to a rework of electronic pioneer Tod Dockstader's Boingo Background just a few weeks ago.

Intrusive Incidentalz Vol 2 follows on almost a year from volume 1 and occupies the same area of the audio spectrum as it's predecessor. If Plekzationz represented an exercise in opening out his sound, allowing it to breathe and develop into long form pieces then this collection is it's antithesis. Tracks are pared back to much shorter running times and the general mood is oppressive, suffocating.

It can be argued that what Nick Edwards does isn't at all unique, or that there is little 'progression' between his main releases but that misses the point entirely. He obviously operates within the tightly defined parameters dictated by the equipment he utilises and his chosen compositional methodology. To put it another way, he improvises using the sounds generated by antiquated hardware. What do you expect to hear on an Ekoplekz record, a string section and thirty piece gospel choir? Ultimately, it's what he does with these crude raw materials that makes his work so compelling.

It's a futile task to pick out individual highlights from an album this good; 'Ultra Warble' is the filthy sound of heavy machinery, 'Effluvia' is saturated in flickering reverb whilst 'Neutronik III' marries atonal pulses with bursts of white noise. Special mention has to be given to 'Kelvin Flats', a nod to Sheffield's notorious council housing complex - a failed social experiment in high-rise living which was built in the 1960s and is now, thankfully demolished. Scroll down to listen to the full track.

After releasing such a large volume of high quality material this year alone, Edwards has proved that he is still capable of producing an album which can be filed amongst the very best entries in his rapidly expanding back catalogue. Keep 'em coming Nick!

Intrusive Incidentalz Vol 2 is available on vinyl and as a digital download via Bleep. Keep track of Nick's movements on the Ekoplekz Bulletin Board and whilst you're at it, have a quick look at the website of 2nd Fade who produced the album's  rather brilliant cover art which features a View-Master stereoscope disc.

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