VISIONIST — ‘Safe’ LP/CD
The South London artist born Louis Carnell broke during a period of experimentation in UK music when, with the disintegration of the dubstep scene, emerging producers began looking to juke and Chicago house for inspiration. A pair of EPs on Lit City Trax (and a collaboration with Fatima Al Qadiri) in 2013 and ’14 introduced Visionist’s minimalist take on fractured R&B and liquid grime, establishing him as a leading voice in new-wave UK soundsystem culture. On ‘Safe’, Visionist sculpts and extends that signature into new terrain and makes his most personal statement yet. Distilling his influences down to a sparse palette of manipulated folk, pop and R&B acapellas, icy synths, and metallic drum samples, he plays off ever-present anxiety and his own battle not to let it overwhelm him. “Comfort, protection, salvation—this is what we search for,” he says. “We are taught that a life of no worries is better for us, and therefore we try to create one that is ‘Safe.'” But while safe as a musical concept implies conformity, ‘Safe’ as an artistic statement is anything but. At a moment when the UK scene, once known for innovation, has settled into rehashing old tropes, Visionist continues to propel his sound into more experimental territory. The album traces the arc of an anxiety attack, from its onset through to recovery. Following the stately discord of brief opener “You Stayed,” the grimy, ballistic assault of “Victim” sends its targets diving into mirrored corners. “I’ve Said” is a brutal, almost militant advance, its sound cutting in and out as though transmitted via shortwave radio. “Too Careful To Care” trades in skittering paranoia, with the soporific “Sleep Luxury” closing out affairs. Since 2012, Visionist has toured extensively throughout Europe, Unites States and Asia, appearing at industry standard clubs and festivals like Fabric, Berghain, Sonar and Unsound and as well as various underground venues. He has scored music for Kenzo, Liam Hodges and Roxanne Farahmand in the world of fashion, and remixed Kelis, Ghost Poet and Glasser. In 2014, he supported FKA Twigs on her first-ever UK tour. The LP was mastered by Jeremy Cox and cut by Rashad Becker at D&M, and pressed on 140g LP and CD. It features photography & artwork by Daniel Sannwald and layout by Bill Kouligas.
VOM GRILL — ‘Knerpen! (bevel)’ LP
Antwerp-based nonconformist Dennis Tyfus debuts on PAN under his Vom Grill moniker with the ‘Knerpen! (bevel)’ LP. Tyfus’ dealings in unstable media—spanning paintings and illustrations, films, radio transmissions and more—reflect the freeform, sometimes parodic nature of his sonic output, which has been archived on his own Ultra Eczema imprint alongside many outsider, weirdo and noise underground artists. ‘Knerpen! (bevel)’ is a jarring collage of skewed electronics, tape loops and treated vocals. Opening sequence ‘I’ writhes and seizes with electricity. Skull-resonant clangs are sucked and “scrunched” back into themselves, before throbs of condensed static give way to the sound of someone rummaging around inside the bodies of acoustic instruments. On b-side ‘II,’ Tyfus multitracks the vocalizations of opera singer Emilie Fleamountains into an empyrean choir, before winding back the tape into a foaming-at-the-mouth mechanical meltdown. The album is mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at D&M, pressed on 140g LP. It features photography by Dennis Tyfus and layout by Bill Kouligas.
LEE GAMBLE — ‘B23 Steelhouse/Motor System (Extension)’ 12″
Limited pressing / white label featuring two unreleased tracks. ‘B23 Steelhouse’ is a rework of ‘Steelhouse Chaconne’, itself an unreleased Lee Gamble dub from 2013. On the flip is ‘Motor System’, a track taken from last year’s Koch album and extended. Both tracks have been remastered and sound much louder and dynamic than the album cuts – primed for the DJs.