Ex Pylon – Hammerfest review

Ex Pylon - Hammerfest
Artist
Ex Pylon
Title
Hammerfest
Label
Studio Barnhus
Format
12"
Buy vinyl

Ex Pylon has remained one of the more mysterious figures within the realm of electronic music, with a trail of intrigue dating all the way back to the days gone by when Rupert Murdoch saw fit to splurge millions of pounds on MySpace. As is the way with the internet, a simple “hey guys check out my old Cornish buddy Ex Pylon” style blog post from Border Community poster boy Nathan Fake led to all manner of rumour and hearsay.

Fast forward several years, it seems a happy coincidence that as the aforementioned Antipodean tycoon waves goodbye to MySpace and any notion of profit (he surely has bigger things on his plate at the moment) Ex Pylon deems fit to finally release his debut EP. Arriving on the fledgling yet already impressive Studio Barnhus imprint run by messrs Boman, Kovacs and Petter, quite why it’s taken so long for Ex Pylon’s debut to arrive isn’t revealed and is likely to remain so.

Let’s just be grateful to the Studio Barnhus crew for finally allowing the music buying/stealing (delete where appropriate) public a chance to indulge in the rewarding vision of techno Ex Pylon dabbles in. The title track “Hammerfest” opens proceedings in fine fashion, sprawling across A Side towards the run out groove in a sonic fashion not dissimilar to the arrangements that made up The Field’s debut set for Kompakt a few years ago. Frosted synth lines compete with glitched out rhythms in shifting in and out of focus over stripped down drums, whilst the final ascent into the skies provides a potent end to a track which demands the needle be returned to the start.

“Hoverfly” is equal in the use of glitchy rhythms, though the mood switches from euphoria to apprehension as the track digs deep into your senses with a dizzying array of kaleidoscopic alien textures burrowing far beneath the pattering layers of drums. Just when you think those textures will disappear completely, they surface to the fore with optimum speed over a snapping kick drum. It’s a challenging but entirely engrossing listen. The final moments allow your senses to relax via the undulating beatless soundscapes of “Hupiter” – drawing on a multiplicity of soft melodic textures and cooing vocal samples with generally engrossing results.

Tony Poland


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