V/A :: Covert II (De:Tuned / Touched Music)

From sweaty floor to Saturday armchair, Covert II will provide.

There’s always a certain amount of media fanfare about the prospect of a “supposed” Aphex Twin release. A whisper of Richard D. James is as much tantalising click-bait for the electronic music nut as the promise of celebrity nudity is to your local lad. Covert II lit a fire under busybody bloggers. The compilation, brought together by Touched Music and De:Tuned, contains five tracks of no-name electronics; no name meaning that any name could be attached to this collection, whose proceeds go to Macmillan Cancer Support.

Touched are no strangers to the electronic scene. The imprint, having been established to raise funds and musical awareness, has turned many the ear with their releases that have ranged from a compilations, solo artist albums and collaborations with the likes of Bass Agenda. However, Covert II marks an interesting shift; the move to vinyl with artwork by The Designers Republic.

This particular quintet might well have some famous musicians involved. Rumors have revolved around “Filmed Lipear,” an anagram of a Plaid track. Now whether or not the Warp duo are behind it is immaterial, what matters is the track. A fidgety, twisting, turning and playful work of spliced electronics is offered, one of deep moods and writhing rhythms. Trying to pin this compilation down is like nailing jelly to the wall. “Sol A r skies,” for example, bends the perceptions of techno. Ambient and light in one breath, heavy and looming in the next. “Song in a Song” is a completely different beast, a work tethered to the wriggling world of braindance which finally jitters out of its snare stocks. “9a9a Ran” is of similarly restless nature. Delicate keys skate across a shifting pond of broken percussion, samples slipping and sliding on that ever changing surface. The floor filler, the piece that you could set your watch to, is the opener. “Sharp is Usual” is a sample strewn, scalpel sheered banger of acid squawk and dancefloor funk.

I’m not sure who is behind these tracks. Maybe it’s Aphex Twin. Luke Vibert. Autechre. Insert whatever name you fancy. I do know that De:Tuned know their stuff when it comes to machine music. I also know that all money raised is going to a very worthy cause. One thing I’m sure of, this is a cracking five tracker of varied styles and superb execution. From sweaty floor to Saturday armchair, Covert II will provide.

Covert II is available on De:Tuned / Touched Music.

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