Monday, 26 April 2010
RECOMMENDED: T++ - Wireless [Honest Jon’s]
So we reach the final transmission from Torsten Profrock’s ever compelling T++ project and as its final notes fade to nothingness it’s difficult not to feel a sense of sadness that his pairing with the Honest Jon’s label has come to a standstill so swiftly; when this one contains his most fully realised music yet. One cursory spin instantly reveals why. Spiralling ominously just within earshot, its source material stalks Wireless, lending these four tracks a sense of hanging dread but also, more importantly, a tangible presence in the physical world. Profrock has certainly taken full advantage of the sampling possibilities the Honest Jon’s back catalogue opened up – the label describes it as a kind of ‘remix project’, as each track has at its heart some of the label’s oldest 78 recordings of African music.
Working with this kind of disintegrating matter couldn’t be more right for T++. His music has always both signified and amplified the processes of decay, deconstructing his influences – techno, jungle, two-step – down to their barest elements before reanimating them with a blast of electricity. His remix of Shackleton’s ‘Death Is Not Final,’ itself a dusty approximation of flesh falling from bones, creaked like the undead: hard and permanent as ancient granite but also fluid, shot through with jittery junglist breaks and irresistible forward momentum. The same is true of Wireless, where he resurrects the musicians who originally recorded these tracks – at this point, who knows whether they’re dead or alive? - and gives each a new and eerily eternal life.
So during ‘Anyi’ voices rise and fall through the mix, accompanied by buzzing melodies that surface only to fall away under the weight of sub-bass and brittle percussion. His production is as gritty as ever, and placed alongside samples with such a weight of history manages to change the properties of his music to something more primitive than programmed. This is deeply ritualistic stuff – the metal wasps that buzz furiously around ‘Cropped’ moan like mourners at a burial rite, while its furiously driven pace brings to mind a macabre Day Of The Dead parade.
Of course, for all its neatly theoretical properties this is still dance music, and it fulfils that role far more directly than any previous T++ material. ‘Dig’ shuffles like garage, driven with hard edged pulses of sub-bass, and ‘Voice No Bodies’ operates on so many levels that it’s almost impossible to know which element your body is tracking. Both haunted and haunting, heady and hugely physical, Wireless is the most complete and rounded release in T++’s catalogue. It’s a shame the project’s come to an end, but if this is anything to go by whatever Profrock does next will be just as exciting.
Words: Rory Gibb
T++ on Discogs