Pessimist: Austerity EP (Osiris Music)

God! This is about as grey and depressing as electronic music gets.

The continuum of dour people out there with bleak tastes (myself included at times…) shuffles on. Which is same as it ever was I suppose. It has the hopeless trudge of a prison exercise yard (and funnily enough Van Gogh’s painting immediately came to mind. Don’t ask me why? I’m a visual person with a ‘Fine Arts’ background ahem ahem, so I can’t help myself…nevertheless, the visual analogy seems perfect).

prison-courtyard

Round and round they go, heads down, lost in reverie, cut off from the real world.

Fair play though, the JK Flesh remix tries for a break out and nearly makes it over the wall too, managing to lash out with a vintage Reese – before he’s dragged back to solitary.

Stone Tapes 001

Another UVB-76 Music sub-label curated by Vega & Outlook for “residual recordings documented in static matter”. This crew seem endlessly busy these days.

The hauntology positioning is a bit confusing (although painfully self-aware if truly grasped?) and kind of shoots themselves in the foot really: yes there’s a bit (not that much mind) of surface noise and hiss etc and the tracks ARE indeed neither present nor absent, neither dead nor alive (the eternal ‘techno paradox/impasse’ writ large) but do they really want us to ponder this as we consume their sweated-over output? Something akin to a chef putting his signature dish before you and telling you not to expect too much because after all, its only nutrition?

On their own merit though – as pieces of constructed, linear sound – I’ll take two of these for the bag. I like ’em without the guff just fine: the hypnotic, measured, deliberate glide of Pessimist’s slow, bouncey, break shuffle and Overlook’s ‘Purr’ which has more churning grit and lock-jaw drive but brightens towards the end like a creeping dawn.

I’m not haunted though. In the slightest, although a propos of ghosts etc I’ll leave you with this nubbin: I have an aunt who’s a bit “happy clappy” (Born Again Christian) who maintains that if you don’t belive in ghosts you can’t believe in the Holy Ghost. Ponder that one!