Bownr – Water And Fire EP / Ricochet
There’s something altogether Aphex’y about the synth work on Bownr’s Water and Fire, the opening track for his EP of the same name on Ricochet Records.
Water and Fire has all the delicate hallmarks of that classic IDM 90s sound with a more tribal slant from the beat work, building itself into something altogether more trippy and hypnotic. Some of you may well remember first hearing this, nestled in Lifecycle’s showcase session mix for Mantis Radio 084 back in May last year. Either way it’s quite an introduction to the work of Bownr; Slovenian Tomaž Kladnik.
This theme of electrical psychedelia continues with Imagine Yourself; a more ‘glitch’ of an affair maintaining the tribal stylings from opener Water… with fractured beats and decaying looping vocal cuts. A fractal approach which is very befitting of Ricochet, a label increasingly pushing itself into more psychedelic electronics, without ever feeling the need to delve into the myriad of psy-trance subgenres to justify itself.
Crossing the line of IDM electro with some of the stranger tech/clicks you might have from a particularly forward thinking minimal or tech-house track from the past few years. A rare occurrence I know but stranger things have happened.
As far as the remixes go, and we have three on this EP, Bristol producer Al Tourettes; a producer I’ll always love first and foremost for his heavy early electro work for sadly defunct [k]rack-troni[k]; turns in the first. His rework of Water and Fire keeps that Aphex style synth working it in before he goes down deep and chuggy with a dubtech roller that will keep plenty of the heads happy. Those accentuated tribal drums make for another quality track from the studio of Alec Storey’s Al Tourettes.
Next up in the remix pit is Mesak; it’s first time I’ve come across the Berlin based Finnish producer Tatu Metsätähti and his sound. Also remixing Water and Fire taking it into a clunkier headspace, and on first impressions I’m into what he’s done. It keeps the trippy aspect of the original piece with snippets/cuts into flourishes of brief edits. He restrains from using the main synth lead so much so it feels less like a remix and more like an original piece.
Turning in the final of the three remixes is label owner Lifecycle. A producer and DJ known for his excursions into deep and trippy electro varnished techbass. And he doesn’t disappoint either. Taking Imagine Yourself he adds in live-sounding jazz-drummer-like percussive work with gargling oddness and a nice touch on the sparingly used bass; which sounds played rather than electronically programmed.
This one is all about that drum work; those live sounding breakbeats, yup, I’m liking them. Nice to hear some cymbals too, rather than just hi hats in what is another well produced breaks track from the long haired producer.
So, another tidy piece of work from Ricochet and a great introduction, for me at least, into the work of the Slovenian Bownr. I wonder what else he’s done. I’m off to have a listen.
Released March 5th.
Bownr – Water and Fire
Water and Fire
Water and Fire (Al Tourettes remix)
Water and Fire (Mesak remix)
Imagine Yourself (Lifecycle remix)