The squirming acid playfulness of Braindance, the cold shot of electro with some light sprinklings of electronica are the hunting grounds of both platforms with WeMe having near a decade’s experience. Alphanumerix is an offering of cerebral electronics with nods to a range of styles, a record for armchairs and floors.
WeMe is a label I’ve listened to from afar. The Belgian imprint shared a very similar remit to a certain Spanish counterpart I recently covered: Anological Force. The squirming acid playfulness of Braindance, the cold shot of electro with some light sprinklings of electronica are the hunting grounds of both platforms with WeMe having near a decade’s experience.
So why have I found myself listening at arm’s length? No specific reason. Though there is maybe one. WeMe is not a prolific releaser of music. The approach is one of quality, selecting artists of ability and giving them the respect they deserve. And this is definitely the case with the latest pair to hit the shelves.
EOD, aka Stian Gjevik, is a favorite of the Brussels’ imprint, with his CN alias being well represented. EODs sees the Norwegian artist bring together a veritable feast of knob wrenching, beat racing, funk dripping, 303 chicanery. Recorded between 2015-16 straight to tape these twenty four tracks are finally being set to wax, and rightly so. “CLK” speeds out of the blocks. Somewhere between chiptune and jittering acid, the opener is emblematic of the entire LP; that free flowing organic quality which is ever present. There’s a palpable sense of these tracks being made off the hoof, one take cuts that wriggle and writhe like analogue tadpoles before escaping down cables. Bright moments blossom. “405MOOG” is boyish tomfoolery. Notes cascade and percussion dances around a candy cane maypole of squelch. “Produet” takes that maypole and spins it into a whirling dervish, bleep and spiking synths arrow out of hyperactive rhythms.
“M.PIN” has less of a messy schoolchild countenance, but that doesn’t mean that Gjevik is done toying with things. A complex pattern of keys are supported by thick bass and snapping drums. “Bow” is one of the few numbers that feels like a straight up floor jam. Of course it isn’t, with twitching flourishes riding beneath but it is steady, deep and one for the Dj minded. Despite the ever present enthusiasm, there are moments of brooding introspection. Take the shifting, yet stable, melancholy of “ACID TREMB” Another side is explored in the brief interludes. Bite size works, like organ blues of “00h” or the bitter sweet “Drip”, show a thoughtful tenderness.
Co-closing the 2016 are The Valley and Mountain. Fresh from Gentle Waters Keep Moving, just released on Photic Fields, this mysterious artist offers Alphanumerix. The 12” takes up where the latest album left off. Ambient. Electro. Electronics. The seven tracker slips and slides between all. “Belle Isle Retreat 101” sets 303 curls and soulful strings assail on biting snares. “Path Glitches with Thundervision 114” is more of a straight up number, samples and cold percussion. “Atmospheric Tide 40” is the opposite. Keys are poured into echo and delay, cascading and toppling into one another. “Last Breaths of First Life 95” sits somewhere in the middle of the previous two. Around tight drums a melody swirls, one which ebbs and flows with a whimsical groove. Alphanumerix is about that search for. TVTM allows for a large degree of abstraction without losing rhythmic roots. The morphing finale, “Light Through Clouds (TVTM 32 MIX)”, shows a subtlety and lightness of touch that characterizes this outing.
2016 was WeMe’s busiest year with some ten releases spanning sounds as diverse as movie scores, 303 squawking house and even rock. And the Belgian label has ended a very fruitful year with two final successes. EODs is a welcome return to vinyl for Stian Gjevik. The triple 12” is a perfect introduction to his weird and wonderful world and a treasure trove of new sounds for the faithful. TVTM impressed me with their first release and continue to do so. Alphanumerix is an offering of cerebral electronics with nods to a range of styles, a record for armchairs and floors. Here’s to 2017!
Alphanumerix is available on WeMe.