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Shackleton Returns With 3LP & CD Boxset
The Quietus , April 25th, 2012 07:46

OOF! A formidable new box set arrives from Sam Shackleton

Shackleton is one of the UK's most idiosyncratic and brilliant beatmakers, whose music exists somewhere in a sweet region between polyrhythmic tribal musics, techno, industrial and dark, vaguely mechanical ambient sound. Following on from last year's fantastic collaborative album with Pinch, he's now unleashed an unexpected missive upon the world through his own label Woe To The Septic Heart. A huge limited edition boxset, consisting of three 12"s, a CD and an LP-sized booklet of artwork by long-term collaborator Zeke Clough, it contains a formidable amount of brilliant music.

Having listened to the set a few times now, it's a real expansion of Shackleton's sonic universe. The three 12"s - mirroring his 3 EPs album from a couple of years ago - are gathered under the name The Drawbar Organ EPs. They're still rooted in the same hyper-percussive, fast and texturally overwhelming dance music that made his name, but like some of his recent sets they're stained far brighter hues than normal, featuring thick bursts of organ and fluttering, flute-like synth figures. According to the text accompanying the album's release, the melodies come from an Italian drawbar organ module that Shackleton bought a couple of years ago. "Apparently Italian organs from that period had a bad reputation," he says, "but I was so happy with it that it appeared on most of the tracks I had been working on."

The CD is entitled Music For The Quiet Hour and is largely beatless, featuring ominous spoken word from Shackleton's friend and collaborator Vengeance Tenfold (who also appeared on classic Shack cuts like 'Death Is Not Final'). Arriving in five movements across an hour, Shackleton's announcement explains that "I had also been working on a 12" of more spacious music to go with [the Pinch & Shackleton album] as a limited vinyl 12". By the time I finished the music though, the tracks for the 12" became so long that I couldn't contain them to two sides of a vinyl."

The tracklist for The Drawbar Organ EPs runs as follows:

'For The Love Of Weeping'
'Touched'
'Seven Present Tenses'
'Powerplant'
'Test Tubes'
'Dipping'
'Katyusha'
'Wish You Better'
'It Is Not Easy'
'There Is A Place For Us'

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