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I Am Demo Suzuki

I Am Demo Suzuki! Sophie Coletta's Column Returns
Sophie Coletta , May 14th, 2013 10:38

Sophie Coletta is infuriated with vowel abuse this month, but that doesn't stop her digging some gems out of the open sewer of music online

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Welcome to May's installment of I Am Demo Suzuki. This month's selection of unsigned and self-released tracks has somewhat of an electronic leaning, by no deliberate intention, but simply because that is what has predominantly landed in tQ's unsigned inbox this month. Many of these tracks have soundtracked long, drawn-out nights in the library, lessening the pain of hammering out word counts as peers order in pizza and Snapchat self-portraits of their own despair in a way that wailing, guitar-wielding sexist bellends just don't seem to.

Toll Crane – Pink Passport EP

Toll Crane is the solo side-project of Talha Asim Wynne, frontman of Karachi, Pakistan-based shoegaze group //orangenoise. His latest EP Pink Passport, released on his label Forever South, sees him carefully construct ambient soundscapes infused with elements of jazz and psychedelia.

There's a certain mercurial nature to these tracks, and without being overtly summery, they bleed warmth with every humid arpeggio. 'Interconn', with its twitchy piano chords and intermittent bursts of percussion that arc in a spherical trajectory, brings to mind those time lapses of sunrises filmed from an unchanging position. It continues through 'River Party' until about midway through, when the tempo picks up rapidly, anarchic high hats ambushing you at every turn before eventually staggering and flatlining in apparent exhaustion. Closer 'Knights', takes the whole thing below the surface, shuffling percussion lines and chaotic jabbing synth chords plunging you into sinister uncertainty, lending a definite feeling of lawlessness to proceedings.

TNKS

I sometimes wonder why the never-ending semantic trend of artists opting to omit vowels from their names ever even started. Surely it would be more exciting to cast aside the consonants, creating guttural, onomatopoeic howls of sounds, like OAUE or AEAE or OU OU OU. I sometimes wonder whether the vowel will one day become obsolete, whether, in ten years time, I'll be writing text speak capsule reviews on the inside of my eyelids.

With TNKS' smooth, sluiced together tracks, you'd have thought the sentiment would have been the same. On 'Sinapsi', tapered, barely audible vocals glide and swirl into disarray until they judder to a halt, almost sickeningly. There's something quite grating about these tracks - perhaps it's their blatant repetition - and listening to them continuously draws you into an aural black hole that is somehow neither comforting nor uncomfortable. 'Teatrale' begins with a whirring bassline that occasionally gives way to a noise that can only really be described as somewhere between a loud exhalation and the sound of a wooden chair being brushed back on a carpeted floor; before it bursts out of the dark, sharp piano chords accompanying the whirring but doing little to soften the edges.

100 Grand – 'Dracula'

Taken from Grand's forthcoming mixtape In Do Time, 'Dracula' features cathedral filling choral production from XXYYXX (another hateful, vowel-neglecting name) that recalls early A$AP Rocky tracks, but only in so far as it features 'Wassup'-esque hazy vocal loops. It's framed by quotes sampled from the Tod Browning-directed film, and initially it's a curious juxtaposition, Bela Lugosi's Hungarian drawl peppered around Queensland rapper 100 Grand's pacey cadence. The switch in tempo is jarring, Lugosi barely pausing for an elongated non-essential breath before you're dragged face-first forward 82 years into the future. On further thought it makes sense - Stoker's tale of vampiric lust overlaid with issues of blood mixing and fin de siècle anxieties about empire, takes new meaning when accompanied by bars about masturbation, religion and the Illuminati.

Acidalius

Valens Acidalius was a German critic and poet who, in the 1500s, proclaimed that the reason women would be so persecuted and marginalised for the next few centuries was actually due to the fact they were not, indeed, human. Luckily he dropped dead from a fever at the age of 28, but now, in an apparent reincarnation, he returns to SoundCloud with the tagline 'Rolands and Korgs, Daleks and Borgs' and an assortment of acid-infused electronic tracks via Frankfurt.

'PreMIDItated' boasts vibrant doodles littered with the same sort of jittery droplets that can be heard across the opening of Joy O's 'Sicko Cell', moments of silence lingering tauntingly across the first four minutes of the track, before thrusting back into applauding percussion and springy dancefloor-calling tessellations. It's a sound that looks forward, and 'Back To My From' moves the sound towards a different world entirely, laser like synths prodding their way through futuristic vortexes in a way that makes the jousting cartoon cover image seem almost comical.

For further avant-garde medieval adventures, there's also an upload of a recent live set that is definitely worth a listen and incidentally provides avid distraction from the number of imbeciles striding smugly around libraries in stupid hats and flip flops at ungodly hours of the morning.

If you are a new artist, in whatever genre, and would like to be included in a forthcoming Demo Suzuki please email unsigned@thequietus.com with links - not MP3 attachments - and Sophie will give you the attention of her ears