Ulyssa Presents: A Certain Frank – by Cal Gibson

Super review by Cal Gibson, of The Secret Soul Society and Scruffy Soul Recordings.

A limited cassette and digital release only for this round up of mid 90s exotica-flavoured electronica from Dusseldorf’s Frank Fenstermacher and Kurt “Pyrolater” Dalhke aka A Certain Frank. Niche? For sure, but well worth checking out: think pleasingly leftfield moods and grooves that wouldn’t sit out of place round at Jimi Tenor’s gaff, for example. It’s quirky as hell and unafraid to shout it from the rooftops: beats and pieces that have fallen so far down the back of the sofa they’ve formed their own little Martin Denny-esque enclave. With sixteen tracks on offer there’s plenty to get your teeth into – highlights including the bass-driven bop of Nothing: in which nothing much happens (of course) other than a cool bass-line, stabs and filters, but it’s nicely put together, warm and inviting. A clever little chunk of punk-funk indeed.

Eden comes on like Steve Cobby’s drug-addled uncle: woozy beats and easy-listening samples collide on a dancefloor somewhere (very) far away: we’re not in Kansas now Toto. Lots going on but careful curation keeps it all in check. A bobby-dazzler for the leftfield spinners and backroom boffins alike.

Occasionally, as on A Bientot, proceedings take a left turn toward something Mike Paradinas or Aphex would approve of: all twitchy beats and angular melodic shards, working the brain alongside the feet. Then it’s back to the exotica for Naïve, a sweetened dreamer’s elegy smeared in soft chordal comforts, a ride down the opiated river, digging back into summers lost.

So a curio then, another fine fragment in the wild ride of dislocated dance music, something to slot in alongside your Pork Recordings back cat, snuggling up to your favourite little fluffy clouds selections when you’re in need of aural succour. They’ll be digging stuff like this out for years and years to come, trawling hard drives for the beats and bobs that everyone missed first time around. Rediscovery awaits: fast forward the future.

Ulyssa Presents: A Certain Frank was released on September 24th. You can order a copy directly from the label. 

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