Wednesday, 5 September 2018

OAS009 : Lastboss - Emerge / Lastboss X Emerge

Cover art by Lee Prescott

OAS009 : Lastboss - Emerge / Lastboss X Emerge

Another dual release with the excellent Beijing based label Nasty Wizard Recording (see their Bandcamp here) presents the coupling of Lastboss (China) and EMERGE (Germany). Sci-fi ambient beats on the opposite side of immersive industrial drones, packaged with the artwork of British artist Lee Prescott.

The first track is from prolific German experimental composer EMERGE aka. Sascha Stadlmeier. 
The EMERGE sound is not one that can be easily pigeonholed as by design the work is not meant to fit into a narrowly defined categories. Instead by drawing inspiration from the traditions of experimental and noise music EMERGE aim to make listeners focus on the sounds, from which atmosphere and soundscapes quite literally emerge, being unique to the perceptions and biases of the individual listener. 
The choice of sound sources used is usually very limited. In most cases only rudiments of the original sounds are recognizable due to various treatments. EMERGE also uses and recycles raw material from a variety of artists/musicians.
In this instance we are presented with ‘Re-emanate’, a recycling of a digital download only track that was released on the Australian label Misspelled records. 
Yet this isn’t a simple re-issue, rather a mutation: sounds were neither added or deleted, instead reworked and to create something totally fresh. In the artist’s own words: “As all these original works are quite old it’s kind of dealing with my past, it’s a kind of going back to roots by treating sounds in a more contemporary way”.
The contemporary here is akin to a chilly dungeon of doom groans and low end rumble, through which fragments of beats drift, giving way to ambient drones that draw you closer to the center of something unseen. Over the course of the seventeen minutes and nineteen seconds EMERGE invites you to lie back and let your imagination play with the sounds, and see what wonderfully twisted places you might end up.

The next four tracks are from U.K. born, China-based producer Lastboss aka. Tate McNeil, currently residing in Zhuhai, China
As part of the UK/Europe based ’Not Music’ collective, Lastboss helped establish the ‘Breakcore’ genre in his hometown of Manchester in the early 2000’s.
He then left for Japan, a period which saw a definite progression in both production and live performance, with Lastboss on the weekly Shinjuku based ‘Dogwalt’ event roster. Lastboss also won the Laptop Battle Tokyo event in 2008.
Post Japan saw the gradual immersion into more soundscape arenas, and also coincided with his current China journey.

It is from this point that the present aesthetic can be really derived from. The China experience has seen Lastboss partake in several multimedia events including the Shanghai Decompression pre Dragon Burn event, Art Exhibitions, Radio Shows, DJ Nights and Workshops.
As a multi talented producer whose work spans almost every electronic genre thinkable, here we see Lastboss showing off his flair for ambient bliss, murky drones, and sci-fi atmospheres with four cuts that serve as the perfect introduction to Lastboss for the unfamiliar, but also some new surprises for fans and peers. 
It opens with ‘Crow’,a recreation of track produced over a decade ago, a dark and brooding atmosphere piece that would sit right at home in the Bladerunner 2049 soundtrack. Next the ironically titled live recording ‘Linguistic Imperialism’ descends to murkier depths to the dark side of ambience. ‘Hanging Horse’ picks up the pace with a cyber-industrial piece that speaks of future-shocked Asian cities with a beat lurking somewhere under the surface. Finally ‘Journal’ welcomes you into the inner sanctum of soothing church organ mingles with harps and off kilter drums before hard edge bass rises up and the beat shuffles around you, rising and rising up and up, and nicely bookending this side of the release. 

Finally, on the cover we find the artwork of Lee Prescott, a China-based British artist and a long term collaborator with Lastboss. Influenced by the minimalism of Bauhaus and Russian Revolutionary era art, Lee’s style is typified by simple motifs and sparse but striking use of colour, which is probably why his work has paired with Lastboss’s so well (the Lastboss Bandcamp page is like a permanent exhibition of Lee’s work). The piece used for this release also nicely complement’s the EMERGe track, given the non-linear quality of both, the journey from inception to completion being as much a mystery for the artist as the audience. As Lee explains “ I knew I wanted something geometric. With geometric stuff it all depends on the first shape that I draw. Everything stems from that. I draw the first few shapes and then I think of how I can work within those shapes. I’ll have more of an idea of what I want to do at this point. I’ll then start working into the initial shapes. Once that’s finished, I can draw the rest of the shapes and then work within them.”

Digital release on the 5th of September 2018.

Track Listing:

1: Re-Emanate - Emerge
2: Crow (Felled Recording) - Lastboss
3: Linguistic Imperialism Ready - Lastboss
4: Hanging Horses - Lastboss
5: Journal - Lastboss

And in Bandcamp:

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