Streetwalker – Ooze
As the wall of cassette tapes grows on my desk, teetering in ever more haphazard fashion, the feeling that some of the music contained within them would benefit from a wider release swells too. Repeat listens to Lily’s Modern Malaise tape for No Corner or Luke Wyatt’s new automotive project Infiniti on 1080p lead the mind to wander how great it would be to brandish this music on wax. It’s not been made clear why Diagonal boss men Oscar Powell and Jaime Williams have decided to reissue a Streetwalker track from a 2011 Catholic Tapes cassette, but it’s tempting to visualise the mental dots aligning as the spools on their copy of Ooze wore themselves ever closer to all out degradation.
Powell and Williams are thankfully in a position to act on such thoughts (mine remain a hopeful pipe dream), and the lead track from that Catholic Tapes cassette becomes the latest strategic move in Diagonal’s rallying battle against the smoothness of contemporary dance music. In a recent interview, Powell stated he wanted to “be provoked, surprised – even hurt – by music” and listening to Wanzer and Katz push their rack of machines to the limits across eleven minutes leaves you with this reactionary sensation.
From the off, Katz and Wanzer’s 2010 production fidgets with a nervous, primal energy, looking to get a rhythmic grip that never seems to quite take hold, as if unsettled by the barely audible demonic chanting and grubby modulations that writhed their way out of E-mu analogue synthesizer. Listening to “Ooze” repeatedly has you agreeing with Powell’s prior assertion; you want to see how a dancefloor reacts to the mid-point section where Streetwalker tighten the noose on a modular loop and the drop of some hi-hats signals an about-turn into a deranged 110 BPM box jam that comes across like a slack-jawed Charles Manier.
Back when Diagonal first surfaced with The Ongoing Significance Of Steel & Flesh, Powell rightly got attention for the fact he collared a remix from Karl O’ Connor, and it’s a mark of the label’s continual rise in stature that they can call on Silent Servant for remix duties here. In many ways a continuation of the sound on his recent Jealous God issue that Powell himself remixed, Mendez’s treatment of “Ooze” moulds it into a deadly serrated DJ tool for the dancefloors where EBM, Italo, cold wave, techno and primitive strains of house music are encouraged to cop off with each off in the dark. If Streetwalker’s original is an exercise in provoking the dancefloor through unpredictability, the accompanying Silent Servant remix is an example that relentless forward momentum can be just as effective in the right hands.
B1. Ooze (Silent Servant remix)