Robert Logan :: Extasis EP (Slowfoot)

Logan excels at conjuring up a peculiar, off-kilter atmosphere in each of Extasis‘ tracks without being too clever nor too arty or experimental which can often weigh a track down with the creator’s artistic manifesto. This EP is a good listen for dark nights and darker times.

Robert Logan :: Extasis EP (Slowfoot)

Robert Logan’s Extasis EP is like a short journey into a very strange land populated by broken machines, ravaged landscapes and an indefinable agent of anxiety pervading its darker corners. Something is always lurking in these tracks, desperate to be hidden yet struggling to exert some sonic influence.

“Iris” opens with pounding drums not unlike those one might hear emanating from the Doof Wagon’s percussion section. These hammer away under a tight arpeggio that eventually opens to a sparsening and widening atmosphere of beats and noise, a generous helping of a glitchy oil soup that will fill your ears and leave you wanting more. There’s something regal in this song, an anthem to a time and place both timeless and without a fixed point, the royal anthem of a dream country. Towards its end it resolves into some squalling guitar-like tones while retaining the general power of its opening premise. Very reminiscent of Speedy J and Jega to a lesser extent but without being derivative.

“Bear Beat” sounds a bit like a child’s song though I’d be keeping my kids far away form the daycare where they sang this. The stuttering beat underlines an odd feeling of menace while at the same maintaining a fairly light, playful atmosphere with glitches organ tones and arhythmic arpeggios cursing around the stereo spectrum. The song morphs into a strange, miniature tribal beat coating in and out of the weave of tiny voices and sounds the track collapses into.

“Axon” could be mistaken for a collaboration between Autechre, Timbaland and Jaki Liebezeit of CAN performing the soundtrack to the great Boston molasses spill. Glossy digital smears hang back as stuttering acoustic drums struggle to right themselves into a cohesive beat under the mire of drones swirling in, out, through and beyond everything in a cloak of dense, dark reverb. A coherent melody struggles to emerge but ultimately loses the battle to further degradation and collapse as its absorbed by the central mass of the track in a growing wall of slowly encroaching sludge.

“MSIPY” is my favorite track on the album, the one I listen to repeatedly. The skittish opening beats running like bugs from the dead, flat phased out chords are something I have to rewind repeatedly as if to understand what’s taking place here. I still don’t and that’s okay. At times the track opens into the sound of a hellish orchestra tuning up for a mad symphonic performance only to be swallowed up by a rogue demon following its own score. The drums run ahead and mamas glitches growths like pollen or rust. The flat chords grow crystalline shards that flake off and form their own patterns and offshoots. Soon it all comes crashing down in a single stuttering line of static and noise. Well worth repeated listens.

The eponymous “Extasis” closes the album perfectly in a growing swell of anxious bell tones and nascent percussives. The thudding beats arrive under the groan of pads and once again appear to be trying t break free before they slip into rhythm and take the song into a new realm of weird, slow-flanged industrial music like machines returning to life after the humans are dead, re-animated by a new purpose and siren call to order.

Logan excels at conjuring up a peculiar, off-kilter atmosphere in each of Extasis‘ tracks without being too clever nor too arty or experimental which can often weigh a track down with the creator’s artistic manifesto. This EP is a good listen for dark nights and darker times.

Extasis is available on Slowfoot.

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