Samuel Kerridge – Waiting For Love
The most striking characteristic about Downwards output over the last twenty years of transmissions is its reluctance to wither and dissolve into a nostalgic trophy of the ever-romanticised ’90s golden days. Instead of solely opting for a continuous drool of reissues and represses, Karl O’Connor’s imprint, or rather, ‘institution’ as it is now resembling, is still vividly pursuing that unfathomable dream for the most sporadic and decadent interferences attainable through sound.
Downwards insatiable thirst for a more contemporary metamorphosis of their initial vision over two decades ago has led them to unearth a most singular legion of fresh and forward- thinking, techno-not-techno producers.
Samuel Kerridge seems like an almost exact match to Downwards cataclysmic aberration of anything which dares to sound remotely sterile or easily compartmentalised judging from his debut EP for Horizontal Ground last year. On the aptly named Auris Interna (which translates as “Internal Ear”) the young producer exuded a certain air of self-confidence and decisiveness in terms of both sound aesthetic and visual imagery – qualities which certainly haven’t passed unnoticed over at the Downwards laboratories in their present Berlin location.
But Kerridge has yet another ace up his sleeve for this latest Waiting For Love EP, one which is dealt to fuse the boundaries of techno together with the UK’s long-lasting noise and industrial fetish in a manner that is both spontaneous and natural, preferring a methodical and conceptual structure to his framework of sound, where its four components are successfully bonded to produce one single but transient mood. “Waiting For Love Part 1” feels like a sonic overcast, the genesis of a storm which is bursting to unleash its titanic swells of sub-bass over pouncing synth chords masquerading as percussion pieces. Just as we’re settling down to a constant wail of low frequencies and jittering stabs of melodies, Kerridge releases the final component to his cyclone in the form of a lingering, ominous pad which itself resembles the characteristics of a bass line.
“Part 2”, much like the entirety of the record, resembles its precursor but only in so far as its menacing tone and desolate landscapes of sound. To this writer, the piece represents a shift in tenor and what was previously a brooding pool of grey-scaled harmonics is now morphed into a more developmental eight minutes of sound design. There are even relics of the jungle era to be heard, particularly noticeable through the sporadic shots of mutant bass à-la Ed Rush and Optical which ooze in an out of the chugging beat layout, desperately trying to push forwards amid the surrounding FX-laden feedback loops and grainy trickles of noise.
Kerridge pushes his Utopian vision over the edge on this third wedge of amorous chastity to produce a comparatively more industrial setting, where dwindling quasi-hi-hats flicker away beneath repetitive gushes of hollow synth notes and his inimitable circuits of FX – and although the track pays a pretty clear homage to the extravagant days of Throbbing Gristle and Cabaret Voltaire, it does so on more contemporary terms, merely looking back to the past as a means of pushing ahead. It’s with the fourth and final elongation of “Waiting For Love”, however, that Kerridge dabbles in techno waters, something which would once again be imperceptible if it weren’t for the lazy, reverberated 4/4 trod coursing through its backbone. This could potentially be the most functional moment of Kerridge’s fantasy and it’s one which chooses to contain its ferocity instead of creating a bold and fearsome deluge of sound – particularly towards its closure, where relatively more angelic pads bolt in to balance Kerridge’s struggle between good and evil, placidity and exasperation.
A1. Waiting For Love 1
A2. Waiting For Love 2
B1. Waiting For Love 3
B2. Waiting For Love 4