Chris Moss Acid :: Phantacy EP (Shipwrec)

Chris Moss Acid is part of a new generation utilizing that distinctive decaying dirge, merging monosynth abrasiveness with other sounds and delivering something different.

Chris Moss Acid :: Phantacy

I heave the collective sigh for anyone writing about electronics when it comes to the word “Acid.” There haven’t been many words created to describe the guttural growls of that famous silver box. Likewise, it is an extremely limiting word. Artists get pigeonholed by “that” trademark sound. That sonic scourge is associated with House, but it is known to enter into all fields. The TB303 is ultra iconic, arguably the most iconic machine of electronic music. But should its unmistakable sound confine those who use it, and love it? Chris Moss Acid, a musician who loves that bass emulator so much that he’s embedded its output in his moniker, thinks not.

I haven’t written about the Bournemouth based artist in a while, since his excellent Bay of Cadiz release in 2012. But that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been busy, on the contrary there’s been a glut of MP3’s and another wax incarnation on Mathematics Recordings. 2015 sees Moss team up with the more than in form Shipwrec for four slices of…well have a guess.

But wait and stifle that guess or that presumption. The title piece echoes with the grizzly underbelly of Caustic Window’s “Fantasia,” though the breathy samples are from another Aphex Twin track. Drums are suitably splintered, cymbals clattering against rumbling chords. Puberty hits at the midway point. Bass looms and beats batter as the floor dissolves. “Let Me Feel It” is a less ferocious, more precocious, affair. Pingy C64 bars are corrupted by that ever present accent and decay, harmonies twisting and flexing on tumbling keys. “The Grin” is the most mellow encounter on this scalded yellow vinyl, but of course there are some chili flakes in the paprika. Hit-hats melt over snares as warm lilting tones are pricked by that ever pervasive sound. There’s an innate hyperactivity the EP, one that permeates much of Moss’ music. This fervent energy boils over with the rapid pace of “Acid Tronic.” Tempos rise with sweetened notes sugaring bitter 303 barbs and some homespun vocoder action.

I can see why there’s been a decent amount of stereotyping when it comes to Acid. In recent years a fair few Toms, Dicks and Harrys have turned their hand to House renovation; some with great success, others without. The TB303, with its…heritage, has been an integral part of the nu-Chicago deluge. But this isn’t reason enough to cast aside, or a(s)cid, the once rejected Roland machine. Chris Moss Acid is part of a new generation utilizing that distinctive decaying dirge, merging monosynth abrasiveness with other sounds and delivering something different. This Englishman is picking up where 90’s Techno artists left off and creating, not copying, with a tried and tested tool. Phantacy is more than poof of that.

Phantacy is available on Shipwrec.

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