Jealous God Titles
Beau Wanzer - Issue No. 20 (Red Vinyl)
Beau Wanzer has been criticised for releasing tracks that sound unfinished. He's often deemed a descendent of the L.I.E.S. school of hard knocks, but while Ron Morelli's label introduced him to a new audience, he should be considered a free agent. Where his contemporaries look to '80s DIY misfits for inspiration, Wanzer inhabitants the legacy like it's his own skin. It can be hard for newcomers to discern the differences between one scuzzy jam and another, but Wanzer's music has unique substance.
Refining and sanitising aren't priorities for Wanzer. This isn't music made with a context or listener in mind, which gives Issue No. Twenty a transitory allure. Like bird watching, you might spend a lot of time staring into the trees, but that flash of colour makes the wait worthwhile.
Wanzer's fluency with machines shows that he's a keen observer of the music that's shaped him. The combination of queasy phasing and pre-delayed reverb on "Speaker Sisters" turns a dry drum machine into a churning portal. (It sounds great on 45 RPM, too.) "In One Ear" is one of the best tracks he's made. There's just a drum machine, a synth and some effects, but the vibe is twisted, the groove kicking like a toxic goth in knee-high boots. "He Pushes Meals" also has the funk, hitting a paranoid sweet spot between post-punk, electro and cold wave. "Shitty Cough 17" feels like choking on a truckload of phlegm. Considering Wanzer apparently makes a track a day, it's anyone's guess how many more gems are in his archive.
- Mark Smith/Resident Advisor
Frequencia - Issue No. Nineteen (Blue Vinyl)
"Jealous God’s Issue No. Nineteen is an unexpected industrial brawler by Esteban Adame, who’s best known for knocking out slick, latinate Detroit house and techno as part of UR’s Galaxy 2 Galaxy, I can, and Los Hermanos.
As Frequencia, however, he wrestles with a bruising industrial style, ranging from what sounds like a manic Jamal Moss edit in the cut-up hollers and churning rhythm of Adultery and Guilt, then with clenched EBm funk in Golden Hands, and like a Regis wrong ‘un from ’98 with the monotone jag of Live For Lust."
Champagne Mirrors - Extended Communication Techniques (Clear Vinyl)
The recent news that the Jealous God label is planning to wind down was slightly softened by the impressive selection of releases that will appear before it does. Chief amongst those was this EP from Champagne Mirrors, an alias of Blackest Ever Black contributor Alex Barnett. Extended Communication Techniques is as dark, unsettling and creepy as you'd expect, with occasional shards of light - a headline melody here and there, with similarly rare slivers of woozy electronic positivity - helping to balance out Barnett's dystopian tendencies. It's one of those sets that benefits from repeated listens, with each successive play revealing additional layers of moody detail.