Piotr Cisak :: Venus Express EP (Tutamen)

Four completely varied stories with unique characters proving that unpredictability can be something very useful and effective.

Unpredictability, in a good sense, sometimes lacks in a way modern labels operate. A constant rush for highly specific sound as a trademark can lead to boredom, however, that is not the case with Bristol imprint Tutamen. Exploring different sides of experimental techno, lo-fi house, electro and ambient, with artists from all parts of the continent, this label always has something in stock, that can also surprise.

Their third 12″ is Venus Express by Polish artist Piotr Cisak. With lots of tape and digital releases, this is his second appearance on wax—previous one was last year on French 130 Limited. The record starts with titular track “Venus Express.” Retro-futuristic leads guide us through the surface of “Earth’s Sister.” Volcanic landscapes are seen in the sulfuric acid fogs—radioactive waves and noises surround the shell of spacecraft, but it is steadily moving. And this run is joyful. The journey continues with a remix by Croatian Strahinja Arbutina, well-known by his releases for Always Human Tapes, BANK Records NYC and Low Income $quad. If you listen to this one first, and then the original tune, you’ll never understand that this is a reinterpretation. It’s a completely different mood, and much more hectic and intense—swinging amen grooves with a classic 4 on 4 techno kick comes with a pulsing raw bassline. This is not an exploration anymore, it’s an alien rave.

On the flip side Piotr collaborates with Freeze. Tyuratam is a small town near Baikonur space port in Middle Asia. As an artist, operating with sound forms instead of oil paintings, he depicts the atmosphere of this wasteland. Industrial sketches, distorted kicks, and sampled dombras make this story quite expressive and vivid. Last one is “Latakia,” and here we get (again) something completely different. Geographically Latakia is a main Syrian seaport on the Mediterranean. This track moves at a leisurely pace, with tempo based on shaker grooves, warm winds and a treated Arabian singing under a sultry sky.

In summary, we have four completely varied stories with unique characters proving that unpredictability can be something very useful and effective.

Venus Express is available on Tutamen.

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