Saturday, 21 April 2012

The 2kDozen 500: #147 - Geoff Barrow/Ben Salisbury, "Drokk"

Drokk has finally appeared online in full. On bandcamp - here! This is very good news for people who like Judge Dredd, who like John Carpenter films and who like keyboards bossing the circumstances. So thrice good news for me.

"Exhale" pulses like the others, but with spookily stale, reverberant human noises knocking about all over it. Most of the rest of the album is based on big, parpy keyboard noises, noises the size of Citi-Blocks. This may sound like I don't like it. But I do. I do like it. Geoff Barrow Block would be a nice touch. (Do they still do that in Dredd?) "Inhale" has some Syd-era-Floyd-sounding guitar going on as well: spacy, krauty guitar and drums that are gradually subsumed by ominous helicopter noises that bubble up throughout the album.

Some of the tunes have more direct connections with the Mega City world. "Iso Hymn" has an unblinking, schizophrenic throb in the centre that I can imagine filling the tiny isolation cubes of Dredd's justice system. "2T[fru]T" is a reference to the plague that almost wipes out Mega City Two and causes Dredd to have to trek across The Cursed Earth and bring them a cure. (Wow! It reads pretty adolescent written out like that. You had to be there perhaps.) For the most part, it doesn't seem that Dredd dependent; much more an exercise in film soundtracks with old electronic instruments.

There must be an element of forty-something reverie going on here. As with the Quakers project. Although this is a very different project, very minimal in its results compared to the sprawling, multi-collaborative hip hop on "Quakers": this is just two guys playing with keyboards and memories of comics. But the tension is real despite that, isn't it? It's inherent in the structure of the music. It has the same mechanical sting as alarm clocks and police sirens. I'm not sure what to make of the nostalgia of it all. It's cool now because it was cool then, yes? And it would make an ace, restless accompaniment to walking around any city.

Rating: Dredd out of Carpenter

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