On many an internet forum (where the most logically minded and open-minded of the world’s creatures doth roam), one slagging match pops up time after time; “real” vinyl DJ’s and the new breed of “spacebar” DJ’s ploughing verbal bullet after verbal bullet into each other’s skulls while no-one watches on giving a single speck of shit.
Meanwhile, Ian Dominick Fernow sits like Poe’s Raven above all this, most probably laughing. He DJs with tape, bitch. “[E]ver noticed how [Vatican Shadow] tracks end so abruptly? The tape ran out” informeth Fact Mag.
It helps to explain why the tracks do what they do; stems sift across one another, sometimes finely oiled, sometimes covered in grit, sometimes one and the other. Tracks often end with no warning. They can change from “creeping” to “gut bludgeoning” in a matter of seconds. What does it have more to offer than surprise then?
Cairo Is A Haunted City (Mythic Chords) washes over my personal favourite from June’s 'September Cell' with 'Passed Me By'-era Andy Stott thumps and drones with a middle-eastern tinge before the iconic bass from the earlier editions froths over in the last couple of minutes. It’s a warm saw bass, one that’s bordering on scalding.
The Operation Neptune Spear tracks feature mineshaft reverberated snares and long dusty Bollywood samples; not so danceable, but probably more aurally engaging than the latter few tracks on here. India Has Just Tested A Nuclear Device is menacing, yes, but it kinda whirrs along without really grabbing anything. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all up for a sonic experiment, but this is one that doesn’t offer up as much as previous Fernowisms.
It’s an album for people who like their sounds. Fernow crafts sounds in intricate detail and then throws them into the cooking pot. Often it works, occasionally it lacks that final pinch of salt. The sounds are so well managed here that he could’ve done the recipe backwards and come out with something equally as good. This is a pretty fine view we’ve got just here. Just needs a bit more seasoning.
Posted: Thu 25 October 2012