Yearning Kru – Swumpengelf ‎[CS]

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Yearning Kru – Swumpengelf ‎[CS]


Label: Mantile

Year: 2017

Format: Cassette

This happens to be the most recent release from Mantile, but the layering of cracked, stuttering, digitally refracted samples could have fooled me into guessing it’s a Mille Plateaux or Mego release circa 2001. I submit that in the most complimentary way possible—I’m a sucker for this era of homemade computer music, and it comes as a pleasant surprise to find someone mining such territory in the context of today’s small edition cassette culture. Swumpengelf is teeming with airy spectral traces, shifting partials, and floating, augmented bass resonances, all swimming around one another like a school of fish, implying a unified texture in their profusion. The remnants of a dismantled trap set (or an ad hoc stand-in for one) and an off kilter ticking pulse imparts a not-too-comfortable rhythmic component. Yearning Kru taps into the same spirit as any artist one might find on the Magnetic Detritus compilation, offering an alternate take on the aesthetic via DSP techniques I’d wager are as outmoded as four track, Walkman, and dictaphone exploits. The results exude as much charm, playfulness, and authenticity of tape-based sound works in a noticeably tidier work environment. While the sound tools are idiomatic of a dusty sort of early 2000s abstract electronic music, YK’s work feels fresh and not bogged down by glitch/clicks and cuts tropes; the approach is more freewheeling and bold—not unlike Sakana Hosomi’s underappreciated work as Maju and Neina that was less prone to the overly gentle demeanor of his peers. I’m now in the unexpected position of having a Planet Mu LP on my to-buy list, so hat’s off to all parties.

Pro Dub'd cassette, hand stamped cover, ltd. to 50 copies.

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