Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Village Orchestra - The Dark Is Rising

A1 Dwyer
A2 Dwyer (Bonus Beats)
B1 Afanc (2562 Refix)
B2 Tober

Stuff Records, the impeccable label that gave the world Rustie and his long since sold out Jagz the Smack EP, have been quietly whittling away in the back room of the Rubadub record shop in Glasgow for a while now. This, the label's sixth vinyl release, is the techno-infused work of one Ruaridh Law (also known as one-third of The Marcia Blaine School Girls) under his The Village Orchestra alias. After a low key release on the equally iconic Highpoint Lowlife label it's Law's turn to handle both sides of the platter on The Dark Is Rising.

"Dwyer" is the centerpiece of the A-side and it's a telling nod to a non-genre specific world where the ambient chimes of Eno can sit comfortably with the pounding thump of a 4x4 kick drum and the chaotic percussion of early Squarepusher. "Dwyer Bonus Beat" streamlines its predecessor into a delayed glitch-led stomp that sirens its way around the pistoning kick drums and the snatches of rave-era drum breaks. 2562 pops up for a refix of "Afanc," and the Dutchmen manages to effortlessly stamp his gloopy atmospheric trademarks all over the track, stuttering 140 BPM drum patterns so they gallop into the reverb soaked snare clicks while simultaneously encasing everything in the polar warmth of his sprawling chord stabs.

Despite this impeccable guest spot, Law still manages to steal the show with the B-side, "Tober." Relying more on sculpting his synthesizers to pipe up and down at what seem like random integers rather than resting on the sheer power and pace of the thumping kick drum, he creates a mood-soaked piece that carries off the low end bumps with the unrelenting prevalence of an aging drunk with a pint glass full of Magners and a neck full of Viagra.

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