steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Sunken Landscapes / MCPIBTYCP

split 7"

Nihil Underground / Scotch Tapes

Genre: experimental, electronic

Long Beach, CA / Batchawana Bay, ON

October 2009

On beautiful red transparent vinyl comes this much-awaited split between Californian consciousness-warper Sunken Landscapes and northern Ontario's own lo-fi electronic artist My Cell Phone Is Better Than Your Cell Phone. This being the inaugural vinyl release for both analog imprint Scotch Tapes and the prolific Nihil Underground label, I had high expectations for this aesthetically impressive single.

Sunken Landscapes' "Other Side of Space" kicks off with an astute sample from the superbly horrific Adult Swim show Superjail before sending the listener into a bizarre world of bubbling sonic detritus. Eerie tape effects and atmospheric noise bury deep samples, imparting a feeling of floating freely in space, catching bits of diffracted radio waves as they bounce randomly off surfaces of space-junk. Judging by the title of the track, as well as the samples used within, this may well have been the intention.

MCPIBTYCP's side is strikingly dissimilar from its counterpart. Although still somewhat intergalactic - in a cold, dark way - "A Gun Named Jesus" is a fundamentally different beast. The track sets a throbbing, coldwave beat in motion before layering a nineties-era Mute Records synth line atop the rhythm. It's a strong composition, perfectly suited to vinyl, and it certainly ranks among Al's best works. It seems the responsibility associated with focusing all energy on a single track for this single has really brought out the best in MCPIBTYCP, and I'm excited to see what else he's got in the pipeline.

All in all, this is a solid slab of DIY vinyl from two of the underground scene's most intriguing lo-fi enigmas. I want more!

sunken landscapes' myspace / MCPIBTYCP's myspace

Superb Sunken Landscapes video

Michael Tau

[Vitals: 2 tracks, distributed by the labels, released 2009]