Across two tracks, some twenty five minutes of music, field recordings, live music and machine groans are brought together.
I’d the recent joy of moving flat. I know moving is a pain in the arse for anybody, but for the record collector it’s an especially harrowing experience. Boxing up two thousand plus records is no fun, lugging ‘em ten blocks down the road in a bus an utter bastard.
A level head and a feckload of patience is needed for such a task. Nevertheless, there are some benefits of shifting vinyl. You find 12”s that have gone missing in action, records that slipped well into the back of the IKEA expedit. Such an experience will also have you turning to other sounds, my music of choice as I rode up and down the road again and again was ambient, noise and drone. I felt a repetitive task called for a certain grinding sound. The heavy moods of Sebastian Reuschel were drafted in to accompany me during the drudgery.
Reuschel is the boss of ZCKR, a label, which has of late, been leaning into deeper experimentation. The grumpily titled The World is Shit is not some teenage repost, nor is it a journey into guttural horrors (though there is some of that.) Across two tracks, some twenty five minutes of music, field recordings, live music and machine groans are brought together. “EXAV 2B” is a fifteen minute creature that rumbles, ticking like a running engine. The motor clicks onward, effects extending the cycles or contracting them. And soon, if you allow yourself, you descend into the clacks, the decay and echo. The track begins to open outward. Basslines judder as new audio shapes form. Bulbous balloons of hiss, cylinders of cold steel, spindles of smoke. The tools of industrial are meshed with ambient, atmospherics churned in psychological scenes. “Dying Alone” hums into being, water flowing next to electrical pulses. The whir of the factory floor soon begins to dominate, mechanic overcoming organic yet the track is not as intense as its predecessor. Circuits shimmer with energy, moss softening the grunts of gears.
Drone and noise are difficult genres because they demand so much attention; hence my turning to it for my hours of record hauling. Sure you can let the clank and static drift past, drift through, drift away; and that is part of these styles. But if you’re willing to give the time, to give yourself over, to allow the subtle shifts to lead you, that’s where the experience lies. ZCKR, along with a new sub-label, seem to be delving deeper into this other side of electronics. Enter the audio artwork of Reuschel and you will find challenges, undoubtedly find otherness and maybe even find something you didn’t know you enjoyed.
The World is Shit is available on ZCKR.