Call it logrolling if you will, but sometimes a record commands your attention. Hakim Murphy (a senior editor here if you haven’t looked at the masthead lately) didn’t send me this release from his Machining Dreams vinyl imprint and to be honest I’m a bit miffed that his collaboration with Ike Release under the Innerspace Halflife moniker found its way into my hands by other means. Two tracks on here are majestic: “Grey Matter”, which comes in wave after wave of lush synths and soft hats, and “Stratosphere”, which sounds like someone dropped one of Kerri Chandler’s jazzier tracks into a blender and hotwired it into a MIDI controller.
There’s a certain analog throb to all three tracks but especially “Stratosphere” that is hard to put your finger on – it’s the blend of the voices of two instruments making a third, something new born of a collisions of sounds right on the edge between attack and decay. Records used to have this all the time: poor mastering and awful autodidactic “in-the-box” recording techniques have made those wonderful accidents subject to an embarrassing nostalgia. All three tracks have a very live, very off-the-cuff feel (possibly from the sessions that resulted in Ike’s Subsequent release reviewed in this space in May). Mussolini was fond of saying that production may be done by machines but consumption was still done by human beings: here you can almost feel the hands chiseling these sounds out of the ether.