Roger West & Run Dust :: Double review (In Paradisum)

Roger West teases his source material, pulling legs and wings off before re-assembling some sort of franken-Daddy Long Legs. Run Dust has a similar disregard for parameters, plucking and choosing what he wants to produce his sound.

Roger West & Run Dust

Igloo’s lists of 2014 are up, as are most others. We kept ours relatively simple, albums, EPs and compilations. I’ve consumed a few of these best of’s, alongside mouthfuls of dry turkey and craft beer. Some magazines went into the realms of treatise length breakdowns of the last twelve months. One thing I would like to have mentioned, which is somewhat embedded in the lists, is favorite labels from 2014. If said list existed In Paradisum would certainly have figured in mine. The French imprint is a label where almost anything goes. It’s based on this premise that two new records have been commissioned.

Roger West, aka Somaticae, has taken on what can only be described as a curious project. Wasted House sees the In Paradisum veteran tear asunder and rebuild four 90s dance tracks. Despite a number of listens I cannot for the life of me figure out what the tracks are, maybe you can do better. “Soaked House,” “Washing House,” “Moldy House” and “End House” cuts across the gamut of electronic music. Electronica, House, bruising Glitch and Techno are blitzed and poured onto the platter. At times the sound borders on V/Vm’s audio wreckage, but just like the Stockport renegades there are moments of substance on here. The opener, “Soaked House,” has a delicateness to it. Beats are broken, re-cast and re-built but a clever lilting melody elevates the piece. “End House” has that same draw. Rumbling keys and a steady (well somewhat steady) beat spiraling into a disorientating mix.

Run Dust, moniker of Luke Calzonetti, has been released on tape focused platforms like Opal Tapes, Nute Records and Tesla Tapes. Serf Rash is the vinyl debut. The LP builds on Calzonetti’s previous works. No single genre is adhered to, instead a mish-mash of sounds and structures are used to construct a signature style. The rasping EBM aggression of “Saddle Maker” opens. Shuddering distortion supports bleep and crunching metal before the roof caves in. Tracks are short, sometimes cruelly so. But it is in longer expressions that Run Dust allows time for his sound to develop. “Doctor John Dee” sees lush and vibrant chords trickle, a skeletal beat keeping time. The narrative jumps, bolting from track to track. “Scythe Toon” is case in point. A mutant chip tune speeds, tearing asphalt in a cacophony of rendered synth. It’s on the B-side that the album really comes into its own. Four tracks occupy the flip, in comparison to a cramped seven on A. This extra space allows Calzonetti time to turn his creations, give them form and shape. “Open Anchorite” employs a shuffling 4/4 from which analogue ribbons are hung. What follows is the deformed House of “British Jumpsuit.” Claps and soulful strings curve ahead of samples in this heady work that calls to mind D’Marc Cantu. The lengthiest piece, “Tour of College”, comes in at just under six minutes thirty. Again there is an outright refusal to stick to one style. Ambient, lounge and hints of Deep House merge into a strangely compelling beast. And that’s what Run Dust’s music is, strangely compelling. Among all the shifting, re-arranging and movement is subtle skill, an ability to create absorbing aural images and corrosive clashes.

I recently described In Paradisum as a melting duck. I’m not sure about my metaphor, but I’m sticking with it. These two latest are cut from a same experimental cloth but are chalk and, well, carrots. That unstable ground I previously mentioned is plain to hear. Roger West teases his source material, pulling legs and wings off before re-assembling some sort of franken-Daddy Long Legs. Run Dust has a similar disregard for parameters, plucking and choosing what he wants to produce his sound. Unashamedly individual from a label that flaunts convention.

Both releases are available on In Paradisum.

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