Daniel Avery’s latest long-player, Ultra Truth, stretches to 4 sides of vinyl and an expansive 15 songs. To be honest, I’ve heard fewer than a fistful of `em so far*, since my copy is still in the post, winging its way from the brilliant Boomkat, but I couldn’t wait any longer to add my voice to the chorus of approval.
For starters, if you weren’t lucky enough to pick up a copy of the limited 12 back in the beginning of 2021, there’s Daniel’s truly touching tribute to Andrew Weatherall, the wonderful, Lone Swordsman. Constructed from drones, clicks, and bottom-end boom, and waving its wigged out riff like a freak flag flying high, the suggestions of Smokebelch, cut and slice triumphant through the machined sadness. Creating a symphonic salute. Synthesizing a shot of emotional electro to rival Claro Intelecto.
I Would If I Could is dark, dusted, borne on big industrial beats, and a bubbling bass-line borrowed from vintage Chicago, acid, house. Showered, well, more like scrubbed, with sheets of melodic distortion, like an Abul Mogard record, its shifting, granular, psychoactive sonics finally fading into the sampled roar of rushing traffic.
The twisted chimes of the title track are treated, teased, until they fray and disintegrate, while the rhythm rattles – imagine computers kodo drumming – and the bass buzzes – an outrageously overdriven speaker blowing LFO. Recalling the early work of Aphex Twin and Autechre, priceless pieces, like Basscadet and X-Tal, its the sound of perception shattering at a window pane / LSD peak, and finding new focus, fresh clarity, within the fractals, and confusion.
Wall Of Sleep is woven around a rolling techno tattoo, and the guest, ethereal, vocal of HAAi. The synths are serene, yet at the same time uneasy, and searing. The music conveying a mood of both melancholy, and urgency. Bolstered by a fierce, flickering breakbeat, and a kick like a barely controlled explosion, it’s a bit like Bicep’s monumental and moving moments of rave remembered / reprised. 20th Century hardcore reimagined as 21st Century classical.
Daniel Avery’s Ultra Truth – featuring cool contributions from AK Paul, Marie Davidson, Manni Dee, Ghost Culture, HAAi, James Massiah, Kelly Lee Owens, Sherelle, and Jonnine Standish, is out now, on Phantasy Sound.
*These alone were enough to convince me to quickly cough up my cash.