May 1, 2003
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Soft Pink Truth
The Wind-Up Bird
April 30, 2003
Pale Horse and Rider
Stephan Mathieu and Ekkehard Ehlers
April 29, 2003
Set Fire to Flames
Picking up where Basic Channel dropped us off after the planetary cruise—that misty pier reported one mid-90s morning on 313—Veer readies the diving bell for a subsequent submergence into the beautiful world of dub techno, crackling granular textures, and minimal 4/4 driven Triebscapes... On the left bank—there's Pole, waving us goodbye, and behind him is Joshua Kit Clayton. I think that's Maurizio in the fog but I'm just not sure...in any case, the boat is drifting lazily right now, and the long rolling waves of bass are displacing my thoughts as the requisite homage to the Caterpillar is given its pass around the boat's passengers. The ship is sleek and modern—clean, white, and grey lines flow across the hull like a graceful Joshua Davis design. Every surface is a speaker of some kind. The seats massage sound waves through tired limbs as the body nods its head in fantastical vibrations. We are not heading to Jamaica...although the bets are in that this dub voyage is neither space bound. The passengers grin—this will be one smooth trip through the glassed ocean.
The thing is, "smooth" in dub is damn close to "cool" in jazz. A reduction to basic elements. While Veer plays the edge of such simplicity, there are multi-levels of detailed echoes and granulation that makes this is a disc worth it subsequent listening returns. But it doesn't magnetize the weighty dust found on those Basic Channel slabs of wax, or the experimental reaches of Joshua Kit Clayton, or the spaced-out wildness of a Lee Perry influence. Lideskape suffers at its weakest moments from a directionless motion. Sea sickness. Whereas much 12" oriented dub-techno (for example, the early Ware releases) propelled the dark labyrinths of sound with a pulsation of repeated chords, Veer lets the repetition of the same slide into variated difference. For the most part, this allows the structure itself to change and mutate over time. By the end of the disc, the beat schematic has twisted into echoes and ruins of its former highways. The deconstruction of Trieb. In the back of our addled minds, we are left wondering where this could have been taken, how much farther and backwards these expeditions could have been propelled. This would have required going through rough water, perhaps even capsizing the passengers, with the attendant dangers of missing the lifeboats... maybe even the introduction of depth-charges and submarine sonar pings...
Throw this shit on. Pull out the bong, let her rip, settle on back for an introductory course to the horizons of minimalist electronic dub techno... A good supplement to a collection where Basic Channel, Pole, Maurizio and Ware occupy the chairs of the holy... Although not essential in itself, Veer surfs the same waters.
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