Strobe/Flutter (?)

I was pondering with a mate not so long ago about this ‘development’ that I increasingly heard in 2018 – possibly? or maybe not? of this ‘Strobe’ or ‘Flutter’ style. I hesitate to tag ‘-core’ onto the end of it (‘coz it doesnt have anything near the violence of filterless gauloises Speedcore) and it’s more pulsing and luminescent somehow, almost going beyond discernable beats? I don’t even know if any of this connects in any way to any of the drilling and fracking of the Splitter/Extratone scene? – you’d have to speak to DJ Balli about that. Nevertheless, I saw two disparate name checks of La Peste last year (coming from a Kerridge release blurb and in the PR for that Szare release on Different Circles) so dots are undoubtedly being joined, however feintly, from camp to camp, in surprising new coalitions.

I mean it’s obviously not theta waves, because you can’t hear those! but you feel almost like it’s tapping into some neural, oscillatory, binaural pattern? The drilling is all around us in every day life anyway, from the roadworks in the street outside your window to the hospital (case in point, my poor old Mum recently went through a battery of MRI tests and she messaged me after the first one and said “It sounded just like your music!”).

In fact my mate and I had already chatted about it casually a year or so ago and it was something we were detecting (in bits of 2017 Mumdance sets etc) but there now seems to be enough of a continuum of the device/pattern that, if you were so inclined, you could (almost) make a whole set of it. Which is when you have to ask; is it now evidence of an emerging genre/style? or just a recurring moment, a trope, of studio frustration when faced with the strictures of the orthodox grid of techno and the various production/editing platforms and the cul de sacs you get led up using them.

Anyway, here’s my selection of tunes from the past year or so. I’m sure it’s only the tip of an iceberg if you dive deeper.

This tune is pretty mesmeric and fascinating IMHO. Essentially a looped field recording (as far as I can make out) that rises from some kind of primordial soup and turns into full on psychedelic delta/theta/alpha/beta/whatever-suggestive waves of strobing pummel. 

A high speed Gysinesque Dreamachine journey into stroboscopic flicker. “Tense minimalist design [-] an architecture that lets austerity scream,” they say. Couldn’t have put it better myself.

Surely his strongest and best release to date? Absolutely superb dynamic tension. In this case the drilling and rattlesnake percussion seems to free him completely and new territory is definitely found on the other side. (Even perhaps on the first track ‘Ikari’? although it’s not a continuous flutter).

This one’s a bit of a cheap trick. All surface.

Feed belts of screeching, howling machinery spooling out of control on the production line.

Softer, cleaner, housier, more ‘designer’ but nonetheless… and bits of the Szare release that followed this one?

Off the (rather pointlessly) ‘produced by Steve Albini’ EP. What a pretentious, beardy, hipster dingbat (Frost not Albini). The flutter kicks in around the 4:00 mark.

The highbrow ‘arty farty’, electronic festival/noise take on this? I’m sure if you wade through the Mego back catalogue and their ilk you can find shed loads of this kind of thing?

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3 thoughts on “Strobe/Flutter (?)

  1. Sorry for commenting in an old post, but this binaural thing into the context of todays music its very interesting, By the way, by listening some subgenres of agressivelessness of HNW (ambient noise wall, just to say) you could achive very particular mental states in a similar way of the tracks you posted. I agree there is a random connection somewhere, beneath all this stuff. Always you made a great post. Thanks for pointing me to directions to explore. Now I will check the most recent entries. Regards

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    • I didn’t really know/still don’t know how to articulate it properly but it’s almost like ‘beyond’ techno, or ‘speedcore but not speedcore’ (& without going down this Extratone dead end). Deep psych. Check out this release also – you’ll see from his release notes, he’s talking/thinking about/aiming at, more or less, the same thing. ‘Hyperspeed’…
      https://newyorkhaunted.bandcamp.com/album/nyh162-drvg-cvltvre-speed-riddims-vol-1
      You also might be interested in my latest mix where I tried to incorporate a lot of these tracks:

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      • Thanks you for your response, yes, its seems to be something very different than the 4 x 4 pattern taked to the extreme ( as speedcore or extratone does). This is other game. Also its experimental , but in the sense of turning all things upside-down maybe by a meticulous planning , maybe just by twisting everything and see whats happens or maybe by just all above options together, who knowns. Drvg Cvltvre tracks really surprise me, its about speed but not the speed from techno or hardcore techno. Its speed in a abstract , mental sense. I found this very interesting cause If you look it from other point of view you could tag “Maki Riddim” by Drvg Cvltvre as an industrial ambient track ..haha , Its simply wonderful. By the way, thanks you very much for the soundcloud mix, what to say, im speechless, definitely one of the best selection I have listened this year. Regards.

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