Samuel Kerridge – From the Shadows That Melt the Flesh
Is Samuel Kerridge having a laugh?
The title of his second release for the Downwards label is so self-consciously sixth form Gothic that it comes across like a parody of all the po-faced navel-gazing that currently besets techno. But don’t judge a book by its cover. As his previous releases have demonstrated, the Berlin based producer is a master at creating irresistibly atmospheric soundscapes and this latest release does not deviate from this approach.
“Part 4” is all whooshing textures swirling in and out, but don’t mistake it for soft-focus ambience, as a recoiling, predatory bass underpins the ebb and flow. Kerridge conjures up similar soundscapes on “Part 3”, but in this instance the pulsing bass is more sinister, reminiscent of Norwegian dark ambient type Biosphere. Just as the arrangement threatens to sound too busy and intense, Kerridge cuts away all of the textures and leaves the listener with a bass that purrs menacingly into the distance.
“Part 2” is more disturbed than “3” and “4”. The pace is as funereal, but the bass more menacing and the accompanying synths off key, detuned and verging on the psychedelic. However, none of these tracks will prepare the listener for “Part 1”. On a superficial level, it differs from the other tracks in that it’s more dance floor friendly (although it would be worth being in a club when this track is dropped to gauge the shocked reactions) bit it is radically different to most techno tracks. “Part 1” is anchored by drums that sound like steel chairs being thrown against a wall. These provide the necessary framework for Kerridge to drop a bass so oversized it dominates the audio spectrum.
It’s droning girth sounds at first inspired by call to prayers at Mecca, but on repeated listens, this writer is convinced it is the spiritual cousin of Aphex Twin’s “Didgeridoo”, slowed down to a crawl for modern tastes. So back to the original question: is Samuel Kerridge having a laugh? Maybe he is, but who cares when he makes music like “Part 1”?
1. From The Shadows That Melt The Flesh Part 1
2. From The Shadows That Melt The Flesh Part 2
3. From The Shadows That Melt The Flesh Part 3
4. From The Shadows That Melt The Flesh Part 4