Label: Inner Surface Music
Release Date: 26/05/14
Quite when Tom Dicicco & AnD’s ISM label are set to strike next I’m never quite sure; but it’s usually when you’re lest expecting it. The ‘Pitched’ EP from Brooklyn based drummer & sound artist Angus Tarnawsky arrives equally out of the blue, melding the gritty off-beat productions of an act like Bandshell with hard-hitting, piston-like drums.
Plastered with fuzz & distortion, title track ‘Pitched’ opens the EP with clattering snares and static-laced kicks, their sparse placement adding a devastating impact. At first the transition into AnD’s remix of the opener is barely noticeable, beginning with the same cloying atmospheres and lo-fi hits. As the reinterpretation develops however, trembling dial tones and a grating synth-riff begin to note a change in direction, before a driving regimentation of Tarnawsky’s original drums cement the departure.
Emerging snake-like from the wake left by AnD, Tarnawsky’s ‘Ad Nauseam’ follows. Gently abrasive snares wear into patiently evolving drones, scraping against them like sandpaper. Similarly stylised percussion runs through ‘Expand Contract’, sounding as if each hit had been resampled through radio speakers to the point of nearly disintegrating entirely. Despite this, the way Tarnawsky arranges his percussion gives them formidable weight despite their crumpled aesthetic. The aforementioned ‘Expand Contract’ makes a good example of this; it’s rhythms jolt to and fro with dislocating force, whilst static surges like an electrified pool amongst the chaos.
Finishing with a welcome break in pace, ‘Tour Maline’ heads up the release with gloomy synthetic tones driven by a buzzing pulse of low-end. As the first of their solo artist EPs since Tom Diciccio’s ‘Exit’ release back in 2012, ‘Pitched’ proves the label is more than capable of putting out work with a strong narrative. Through dismissing the need to be dancefloor functional, the release places ISM in a far more versatile position.