Friday, October 29, 2010

Margaret Dygas - Invisible Circles


A Invisible Circles
B Frankly


As so many other classic labels shuffle off into irrelevance, there's something reassuring about Perlon's ability to stay on top of the game. Invisible Circles, the latest 12-inch to be encased in oversized text, is one of the best records of the year so far, featuring two provocative cuts by Margaret Dygas. Like See You Around, her last release on Non Standard Productions, Invisible Circles was mixed by Tobias Freund, and focuses on the experimental side of house. But while that record seemed to shrug off the dance floor almost completely, this one strikes a perfect balance between beats and the avant-garde.

The title track shows Dygas indulging her love of eerie vibes. It begins with 32 measures of nothing but a muffled bass kick, then eases slowly into a murky dreamscape. The "hook" (for lack of a better term) consists of heavily processed vocal samples, layered over undulating industrial sounds, ala Einst├╝rzende Neubauten or P16.D4. It's far too austere for the average nightclub, but its spine-tingling energy could be perfect in the right scenario. In an interesting flourish, some of the twisted vocal samples are featured on a locked groove that hugs the record's label, so DJs can spread this nightmarish motif across as many tracks as they please.

On the flipside, Dygas reassures us she's not too artsy for jack music. "Frankly" rides a stronger groove, forming a jagged bricolage of scattered breakbeats, distant sax and clean electric guitar chords. If the A-side harks back to first-wave industrial, this one does the same for early '80s post-punk. Both sides are fantastic, but for my money, Dygas's experimental tendencies work best when coupled with a funky beat, as on the B-side. Nonetheless, the choice to make "Invisible Circles" the title track hints at Dygas's personal preference, especially when considered alongside the chaotic musings of See You Around. Either way, as her third release to date, Invisible Circles reveals Dygas as a truly talented producer who's not afraid to go against the grain...www.residentadvisor.net

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