There have been many facets to the career of Ian McDonnell aka Eomac. As part of Lakker he crafted ’90s Warp-style percussive abstractions, while as a solo artist he has delivered everything from pulverising 4am warehouse hedonism to the more conceptual broken-beat experiments found on his Bedouin releases. Given this, upon hearing about the establishment of ‘Eotrax’, his own label last year, I was unsure as to what direction it would take.
From what’s been shared so far, it’s going to be a bit of everything. The debut 12”, ‘Temple Of The Jaguar’ dragged Eomac down to gothic netherworlds; tightly meshed rhythms skidding between contorted vocals and screeches of distortion. If ETX001 was about violently exorcising inner demons, the next offering from Laura Kilty, aka LAIR provides a therapeutic remedy. This should come as no surprise however, as Kilty describes herself as a “producer, vocalist, artist, sound-healer and yoga teacher” professing an interest in both meditation and psychoacoustics.
Despite the EP’s meditative qualities however, there is also a darker side to the release. Opener ‘Invoke’ and ‘Meld’ build to discordant 2001 style vocal climaxes, crumbling electronics and plaintive harmonics lingering in the backdrop. The 12” also comes backed with a cathartic re-imagining of ”Meld’ from Sandwell District veteran Rrose, crafting characteristically grinding low-end and construction-site drones from Kilty’s original.
The closing track, ‘Searching In Circles’ however, is undoubtedly one of the EP’s highlights. Vocal loops unfold slowly, tremoloing gently between cave-dwelling percussion. The effect is both soothing and hypnotic; an excellent example of electronic music’s potential medicinal qualities.