Crotaphytus :: Acanthosaura (Further)

A fascinating mix of live shots, library music, field recordings and cold hard machine sounds from this pioneering pair.

Crotaphytus :: Acanthosaura (Further)

Crotaphytus. Who? It’s not a name you hear very often, but the members of this group have made a pretty big impact on electronic music in their short careers: Robert Witschakowski and Nico Jagiella. This pair founded Solar One Music, with the former being responsible for some of the most exciting electro releases in recent times. The last time the duo came together to form Crotaphytus they offered the fiery The Bite of the Reptiles 2. That was six years ago. Their new offering, Acanthosaura on Seattle’s Further Records, is quite a different beast.

Acid squawk and 808 teeth aren’t the creature prowling here. Instead the partnership delve into a dark ambient world, one of scuttling insects, hissing lizards and phantoms. Witschakowski is no stranger to a more atmospheric sound, his Val_Ex project with Arne Weinberg being proof of that. Yet, in comparison to Riot, Acanthosaura draws more on the organic than the metallic. At times the mechanics are audible, the crack and bass of “Xenosaurus Platyceps” calling to mind some of The Exaltics soundscape moments. However, this familiarity is rare. “Caiman Latirostris” is stripped back. Resonance looms. Loops of modular drone hum like some enormous mosquito behind sweetened sounds.The press notes mention a “freedom” associated with this two man project, and that is certainly the case. Styles are skipped across, “Iguana Delicatissima,” for example, has all the attributes of pared down electronica while the title piece comes from a place of percussive experimentation and heavy skies.

Acanthosaura is framed as a soundtrack. For me it isn’t. Instead the collection feels like a sample of what Crotaphytus have been doing since their radio silence; toying with their machines, building audio vistas and exploring what can be done. A fascinating mix of live shots, library music, field recordings and cold hard machine sounds from this pioneering pair.

Acanthosaura is available on Further.

TAGS: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.