The electroclash pioneer and dark disco enfant terrible Ivan Smagghe teamed up with the inventive composer of contemporary classical music Rupert Cross to deliver a challenging and multilayered album “MA” for Offen Music, a picturesque label led by the artful DJ and music afficionado Vladimir Ivković. Smagghe & Cross have already contributed to the world of bizarre electronics with some exciting remixes of tracks like Mugwump “Breakdown” and The Junto Club “Ikiryo“, yet the new material is far more diverse and risque than any dance music.
Essentially, it harkens back to the colorful experimentations of avantgarde authors of the 70’s and their pioneering electronic contemporaries, also to the poetic work of their occult heirs, like Coil, Nurse With Wound and Mushroom’s Patience. Today, we present you their track “Warren” which somewhat reflects the early work by the German masters from the seminal band Cluster, especially with the pulsework encapsulated in the loose and playful framework.
Already with the first disobedient abstract tones, it’s quite obvious Smagghe & Cross do not deal with the predictable structures common to the clubbing sound. The emerging looping phrases clearly recall the 70’s, considering the most appealing aspects of this controversial decade. The sound modulations boil and interweave in a multicolored hive, reflecting the complexes of organic life rather than the laws of the machine. Playful melodies grow over the joyous rhythm, invoking the memories of early childhood where imagination used to be free and surreal, untainted with the weight, drama and pathos brought by the social mores already in the kindergarten. The game of repetition thrives throughout the song with pulsating oscillations that make every loop unique. This happy vortex of colors does not suggest a definitive theme, but develops it’s narrative in collaboration with the listener. Some would say that this kind of music bears no resemblance to the material needed for the DJ sets, while there are others who would consider “Warren” a winning card from their record bag.
The rest of the album seems even more “ambiental” and challenging. Have a listen to the “Cock Of The North” and immerse in it’s bizarre narrative substantiated with atmospheric scenery that unweaves the knots in one’s brain. The same could be said of the entire album, whose intention must be ejecting from the tracks of the mundane reality and awakening the areas of imagination that require active interaction with the artform.
The “MA” album is about to be released March 23rd on Offen Music in a double-vinyl form, with a download code included: HERE you can make a pre-order. There’s another Smagghe & Cross release on the way, this time in a somewhat uncommon, yet quite attractive 10-inch format.