This week, our editor Max Dade picks out this review of our resident T-Scale's wonderfully rusty release for the 'editor's pick'!
Brussels-based label Black Leather Records has come a long way from its initial beginnings as a low-key party in Bogota, Colombia circa 2006. It has now become an extensive global platform, delivering modern takes on a host of post-punk offshoots—EBM, coldwave, minimal synth, new wave, etc., in addition to forays into the chasmic worlds of dark electro and industrial techno.
Starting the New Year off with stone cold EPs from Arcyniegas & Gaël, the label now welcomes compatriot-cum-expatriate T-Scale to their roster after he approached them with a selection of tracks recorded during live performances around 1997 and 2010. Originally from Liege in Belgium, T-Scale has been an active member of the scene since ‘97. Now residing in London, he is a key part of Loose Lips. His track ‘Timelike’ featured on the 7th Loose Lips compilation album last month – a track comprising a dense array of sounds including neo-industrial dread, emotive trance and delicate ambient. Alongside Barry Convex, T-Scale is also part of Sine Labs, making unnerving experimental music that verges on psychedelic industrial.
There’s a kind of carefree style of hard-hitting lo-fi techno to these recordings. 'Focused' (2010) is an understated, heavily-compressed monster full of static and subtle modulations. On this release, Rico Casazza manages to completely liquidate the track into a sensational electro remix. Keeping the snappy clap, the angsty 4/4 percussion is swapped for gentler flowing breaks; blended with dreamy synths, a delicate acid line, and moody echoing chords, the track has all the sentimentality of early Detroit electro and the reverie of dub-techno. The older tapes, being live takes, have a captivating spontaneity with percussive elements flung in and dropped out continuously, the jittery rhythms evoking an image of the artist hammering away at his machines. ‘Track 2’ is an elegant mix of hazy lo-fi and hard-hitting kicks; stripped back with plenty of swing. ‘Track 3’ is cut based around a pad-based groove. Its heavy, dance-inducing kick and clap from the 808 blend with rattling toms over a bouncy bassline.
The release of dated material is always an exciting insight into an artist’s development and by-gone eras, especially with the ever-complex nostalgia that seeps its way into dance-music.
By Fred Day | Loose Lips
Released February 3rd, 2017