99942 Apophis is the name of a meteor discovered in 2004, named by a couple of Stargate SG1 enthusiasts-come-scientists. The comet caused panic on its discovery, as there was thought to be a high probability Aphosis would collide with the Earth in 2029, creating a crater 4.3km wide, having severe long-term effects on the globe. The extent of the danger is still open to discussion. Aphosis is also the subject Ike Yard’s Stuart Argabright aka Black Rain and Italian artist Nino Pedone aka Shapednoise take inspiration from for their latest EP - an intriguing mix between cracked-out breakbeat and the frenetic glitch experiments of someone like Ryoji Ikeda or Sendai.
Pedone & Argabright maintain a dirt-caked tonal pallete across the release - otherwise crisp percussive flourishes feel pressure-blasted with distortion. Opener ‘Metal Home’ for example groans incessantly, like a building on the verge of collapse, its foundations warping under the weight of thousands of tonnes of concrete. There is something highly claustrophobic about the track’s mangled assortment of textures, slowly giving way to clear, crystalline ambience in the closing seconds.
You’d be mistaken if you took this as an indicator of a more tranquil follower however. ‘Autonomous Lethality’ explodes into the headspace with frenetic, power-drill rhythms and off-kilter static assaults. Indistinct percussive blasts trample over one another, screeching UFO sirens adding to the chaos.
Operating under the guise Miles Ramen, Demdike Stare’s Miles Whittaker makes a fitting match as a remixer for the release, especially following Demdike Stare’s Testpressing’ records - a series of bit-fucked jungle and unhinged grime/garage offerings. Across his remix of ‘Interceptor’, blunt kick drums wade through a thick sludge of low-end, plummeting drones and wild synth modulations wreaking havoc in the backdrop.
The original follows a more crisp, abrasive path, tempos twisting maniacally. The track’s fluctuating speeds have a thoroughly disorientating effect, thumping low-end leaving just a fraction of regularity for the listener to cling onto.
While back stories should never come above quality of the music, here Argabright and Pedone’s thinking behind the EP does nothing but add to its appeal, setting sound in context. The EP’s musing on the unrelenting sense of impending annihilation which could be wrought by the Aphosis asteroid calls to mind a film like Andrei Tarkovsky’s ‘Stalker’, its constantly unsettled feel maintained right until the end.