Retape & Guillotine :: Double review (030303)

030303 have been quiet in the last year. The DJ collective has been busy with gigs, festivals and meeting the needs of Acid hungry crowds, but the label has been silent since 030303 Various II. To ensure full bellies the Utrecht bosses have decided to serve up not one platter but two from a pair fresh faced acts.

retape-guillotine_030303Little is given away about Retape on (playing percentages here) his website. The Norwegian artist has released some MP3’s but Signals on the Double is his first appearance on vinyl. The spread of styles, and their execution, on the 12” is extremely impressive. Softened echoes of bygone Rephlex days open with the melting goodness of the title piece, that same analogue richness flowing into pieces like “Cars” and the quivering “Feber.” But amidst this retrospective warmth are colder contemporary chills, “Rotation” being pure Arpanet material. But this is a momentary break in the weather. The Scandinavian dabs out Electro tinted lushness. “Coir” is an immediate smile producer. Clean, innocent and heartening. “EMN” is a tottering, weaving Acid free-for-all, think Automatic Tasty and you’re in the right vein. Seven tracks for serious smorgasbord of electronics.

From Norway to Brazil. Guillotine are the Sao Paulo based duo of Saulo Pais and Zeno Mainardi. With an analogue arsenal behind them the duo have carved out their first EP, National Razor. Now this is something I rarely say, but I haven’t really heard anything like Guillotine’s sound before. The nearest comparison that comes to mind is Team Doyobi, but Guillotine are different. Corrosive, toxic, ungainly and ugly flesh torn electronics. Glitched up hip hop burnt with distortion. Jagged and gnarled, the three servings of “Bastard Prince,” “Giant Steps” and “National Razor” are like swallowing a pine cone. Pitches break, disappearing into an open wound. At points stability arrives, but beats soon run down a drain of guttering fade and flanking feedback. Musical equivalent of marmite.

030303 have a good track record with finding new talent having brought EOD and FAH to a wider audience. They’ve definitely hit the mark again with Retape, Signals on the Double being a broad and superb debut. With Guillotine I’m less certain.

Signals on the Double and National Razor are both available on 030303.

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