Release Date: 15/09/2014
Having been sufficiently blown away by Call Super’s previous release on Houndstooth – ‘Depicta / Acephale II’ - the unexpected announcement of a forthcoming LP on the same label was cause for feverish anticipation. Depicta had brought a heady - dare I say spiritual - element to the dancefloor, with angelic drones hovering overhead, rising the listener up above the club and into a celestial setting. This was a brave track, with a huge scope for imagination and expansive ambience that set itself firmly in my favorite 12”s of the year so far. However, Suzi Ecto is placed somewhere altogether more colourful and tropical, tracing a concise yet robust ethnomusicology from all over the world that is refreshingly distanced from his previous efforts.
In particular, ‘Dovetail’, incorporates an ambling bassline with off-kilter rims and swathes of swelling pads. Lead single ‘Sulu Sekou’ holds a meandering clarinet over a down-tempo plodding low-end: both tracks something of a shock to the system for those expecting an album of TTTs (tedious techno tools). Furthermore, ‘Rain Dance’ – a personal highlight – playfully bounces woody hand drums around a network of analogue-electro bleeps: juxtaposing two seemingly antithetical sounds in an inventive and successful way. This interplay of naturalistic and artificial textures runs through the entire album, with percussive thuds of woodblocks, grainy fuzzes of sampled synthesizers and the soft pulse of steel pans darted all over.
There are elements of the late Actress (R.I.P…) infused here too. There’s a sense in which Call Super is taking the baton from Cunningham and advancing the sound into something less alien and more familiar. The album ends with a tantilising pre-equal to latest release, briefly recalling the sample from Acephale to project his sound into the future; Call Super is far from done delivering albums, this is but the first chapter in a long narrative that he has only just begun to deliver.
What is perhaps most striking about this LP is how clearly it has been thought out; this is far from a mere collection of techno 12”s – which, to be honest, was what I was expecting. To the contrary, Call Super is unafraid to dwell at a much slower tempo with a much broader conceptual reach. Not undancable, but not really dancefloor material either, Suzi Ecto holds itself up as a standalone work in itself, exploring and attending a wealth of vibrant worlds.