Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Review: Stickman EP

Stickman’s three-track EP on 12” vinyl follows earlier Mindset Records output by the likes of xxxy, Synkro, Hatti Vatti and AnD, many of which were debut physical recordings by a Manchester record label willing to take chances with electronic music producers they believe in.

This latest record falls somewhere in the midst of techno, future garage and post-dubstep music makers from Scuba to Burial and is akin to both his label mates and some of the line-ups of the Sankeys’ monthly new music showcase Continue.

The music itself often seems manic, belying its subtle minimalism that remains darkly ambient despite the persistent pulses. It varies across each of its three parts though. ‘The Verge’ welcomes tinny shuffles before expanding into an uptempo march of squashed and fizzing synths.

‘If You Stay’ holds the urgency of deep house with its metronomic beats and edgy dystopian fills, while ‘Known’ relents into a less forceful atmospheric funkiness, which although lacking the earlier energy still drifts into a crowded musical space filled with echoing clacks and claps, stunted bassline thuds and wailing vocal clips.

Words: Ian Pennington
Images: Courtesy of Mindset Records

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