A music blog from Ireland.
A new mini-album In Binary Shrines came from Defcon last night, an object with immense pull despite its tiny, fleeting appearance. Nine in all, there are some brilliant tracks here; check out In Company Ink, Salvia Funk, Mountain Air Bling and the title track itself.
A mezzanine of sound takes Defcon’s music to a hidden floor where the bodied beats and samples of dub and hip hop boom up from below while still catching a lighter drift overhead. It’s hard not to bandy ‘cosmic’ or ‘lazer’ or ‘spacey’ descriptions when those sounds abound but the ecstatic cyber trills and bleeps sound close to an equivalent of interplanetary phone sex.
Defcon’s ear seems trained on creating new and complex variations on pleasant popular music, graduating from electronica’s school of adroit digital manipulation straight back to the grimier sounds of the streets. The result is this type of marvellous, heavy purposeful beat music that goes where it shouldn’t, where hip hop doesn’t, electronica alone couldn’t. If pared back or simplified to easily reach wider audiences, by relegating itself to a role as exemplary backing tracks for buzzbeat, gauzyvox people-pleasers, or if chopped down to bare blocks to pursue soundtrack and jingle work, Defcon would be taking the world by storm right now but no. It’s practically unusable for any exterior application other than its own aesthetic value as fresh and boundless electronic sounds. And yet he still creates attractive, challenging and inviting work, using every point of time as a layered, pounding potential teaser that would stop a stray ear to hear it out. It seems the closest thing to a compromise in Defcon’s style is the relative shortness of the tracks that bombard but do not overly test the listener’s patience.
In the lingo of old, this is the first imprint on new boutique label Reset based in Belfast, released on 17 September to coincide with a club residency, Reset Industries at the Menagerie in Belfast. From this foundry, expect to hear more from Kab Driver, Brian Greene, Kaidi Tatham, fellow supersonic welders shedding sparks at the new musical frontier. They build spaceshships in Belfast now.