Label: Modal Analysis
Release Date: 01/10/2014
As a co-owner of the label, Athenian producer ANFS was never going to struggle much in adhering to Modal Analysis’ sound palette. However, this shouldn’t detract from the fact his recent ‘Ground’ EP marks one of the most intriguing releases on the imprint so far. Spanning four tracks of quivering, lo-fi drones and ramshackle drums, the record inaugurates ANFS to the scene on his own terms which are to say the least, uncompromising.
Haunting Eastern melodies and dirt-plastered samples dominate the release, earth-rumbling hits breaking the tension occasionally. The result is powerful and cinematic; the structuring of the EP itself lending strong narrative, as ANFS builds to an apocalyptic close with ‘Ground#4’. Cracking drums lurch forward and back drunkenly, like the steady sway of a ship being heaved through the water by its crew. The way the track drags itself forward feels tired and downcast, in stark contrast to its sharp-edged opening tracks. Bursting through the meditative drones built up in ‘Ground#1’, ‘Ground#2’ suddenly breaks into a frenzy of spartan rhythms, jumping into action with ringing tribal drums.
Warbling synthesisers snake between ANFS’ gently pulsing bed of distortion across ‘Ground#3’, nauseatingly detuned vocals adding to the tracks already disorientating soundscapes.
Where previous Modal Analysis releases have felt almost sketch-like, seeming to take a look at the similar ideas from varying perspectives, ANFS’ EP for the label feels cohesive and meticulously thought-out. Where prior releases have included remixes to flesh out the material, the ‘Ground’ EP stands up to scrutiny without need of this – a bold move, but an ultimately rewarding one.