Lanark Artefax - Whities 011
There usually comes a point every year that I have been doing An Album A Day where I feel like I am completely out of music. It's a ridiculous sentiment, because there is just so much out there and new things to discover all the time, btu I end up taking an easy path and typing "best (insert genre here) albums of the year" and hoping I find something I missed. That is how I cam across this record from 2017 by Glassweigen producer Lanark Artefax. Whities 011 is odd, somewhere between dance and alien noises with decent beats and plenty of space themed ad-libs. Laser shoot, water drops become electrofied, almost everything on this album feels completely concerned with technology. You'll find notes to Aphex Twin and Autechre all over this record. A desire to play in the electronic world and have dance be some kind of base, but from there to move into entirely new ways of experiencing music. The record never shies away from something challenging or new and instead embraces this go anywhere attitude that really gives it a massive sense of freedom. Often with this kind of heavily electrofied music you are bound to run into some kind of sinister sentiment, but not on Whities 011. This record feels really unconcerned with the darker leanings of electronic music and instead even when things are glitchy, strange and off like on "Hyphen to Splice" it still maintains a lightness in the tones.
Sometimes electronic music can put you into this truly dark place. The rumbling bass, hollow synths and other elements create this vibe, and it does peak in on the last track of this album, but no where near what we usually hear. The final track actually softens at some point allowing you to approach it without hitting you over the heard with some brutal sound. So much of Whities 001 is spent building to an apex that never comes. The songs are twisted and wrangled creating this huge build, tension surrounding you everywhere, but it never allows for that release. You end up desperate for some kind of cathartic release but it never comes and you are left with huge musical blue balls. Every glitch feels like it could send the album spiraling into infinity, or lead it down a completely different path. For those into experimental electronics there is a lot to like about this record, but for those who aren't there is almost nothing. If you're ready for a really weird fucking journey than Lanark Artefax is for you.
6.0 out of 10