Narcosis, Kromatones and the Rise of Jaquarius

Kromatones, and its cousin, Narcosis are from that staying out till 8am on the Sunday following a Friday night league of 303 vandals. Music harking back to a time of bleary eyed bodies flaying in the darkness as bitter bars sliced through dancefloors.

Narcosis, Kromatones and the Rise of Jaquarius

Acid. I’ve talked about it a fair amount on here. It’s a staple of electronics. Smooth at times; grunting and sweating at others.

Kromatones, and its cousin, Narcosis are from that staying out till 8am on the Sunday following a Friday night league of 303 vandals. Music harking back to a time of bleary eyed bodies flaying in the darkness as bitter bars sliced through dancefloors.

Narcosis X, a double LP compilation, should come with a health warning. Hammering. Pounding. Bludgeoning. None of these will do justice to the describe the intensity of this LP. Acts such as Acidolido and Mr Gasmask I know from past encounters, and age hasn’t mellowed these two as they thrash out blood vessel bursting bangers. I must admit, at points a hit -8 on the pitch shift before grabbing a couple of paracetamol. But that’s the point. Fast and unbelievably raw. Music that will have girlfriends heading for the door.

In all fairness, it’s not all split lips and fractured vertebrae. Although difficult to find, there are moments of, well no tenderness but less ferocity. Mantrum opens with the more refined red meat of “Unclear Ascension.” But rawness is always on the menu and that is what the bulk of the collection is. Jaquarius serves a fast, not so fierce, “Les Dents Noires,” a sound that he’s been allowed to elaborate on with a recent migration to Kromatones for Charivari.

The French hardware fetishist has been building a back catalog with releases on Lunar Distance and Hypnotik with his latest being compiled from live sets. When he told me his musical background was forged from “typical french freetekno/tribe scene with its fast techno, round and warm sound that lasts for hours and hours” I can attest I was curious. And there is a decent dollop of “fast techno” in here, a speed that had me reaching for the pitch control. But once I got into it, began to hear all the different influences that this artist was attempting (in live sets!) I had to return to the zero setting. BPM’s will soar, sometimes coming in well over the 140 mark, but energies will too. From Universal Indicator inspired rampages to lilting mechanics, Jaquarius delivers a record steeped in variety. There’s also a punk, akin to Unit Moebius, attitude. Throw away machines and more expensive gear make up his rag tag studio, the den which has given birth to absorbing analogue arrangements and beat bangin’ bedlam. And it’s when the rhythms are less ferocious that the playful side is allowed in. “B1” has thump, it has pound, but it’s also different; an old-skool cap riding high on wobbly acid lines.

Acid has a number of certain qualities. It can be warm. It can be cruel. But one quality that outshines all is the honesty of that little silver box. And that’s what you’re getting with these releases. At times BPM’s might be a little too hot to handle but amidst the speeding snares and brimstone there are moments of reflective brilliance; suck it and see is my advice, but be sure ya have a friend to help you get home.

For more information, visit soundcloud.com/kromatones and soundcloud.com/narcosis-label

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