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exek-biased advice lp (another dark age)

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exek: biased advice

Exek present their debut LP Biased Advice, following a self-titled cassette EP (2014) and a single contribution to a split cassette (2015). Biased Advice collects rerecorded and past material, which together stands as the fullest realization of an Exek identity, honed during two years of haunting Melbourne's live gig circuit. Before forming as a four-piece band in 2014, Exek remained an abstract concept in the mind of front man-to-be, Albert Wolski. With songs written but no musicians to perform them, he enlisted Andrew Brocchi (synthesizer), Henry Wilson (bass) and Sam Dixon (drums) and they began recording material according to Wolski's vision. The addition of Nell Grant on saxophone made previously murky reference points plainly obvious: Exek are the progeny of a Melbourne scene that established itself around Dave Chesworth and Philip Brophy's Innocent record label of the 1980s and its greatest offering, Essendon Airport's 1981 album, Palimpsest. But Exek dared to abandon the pop and funk tropes of the early Australian new wave scene reaching out to German post-punk of the same era. Wolski's songwriting is akin to records put out by Hannover's No Fun Records and Hamburg's Zickzack, channeling the droll lyricism of 39 Clocks, saturated with self-deprecating attitude. Their vision mirrors Tuxedomoon's "Holiday for Plywood" but crucially, Biased Advice is a sermon that Exek preach to themselves. The band pit themselves as both victims and saviors living in a world that's trying to extinguish them. The conceptual weight carried in Wolski's lyrics follows on from process. Dub and other studio techniques are used throughout Biased Advice and are no better evidenced in the 16-minute modern (and instant) classic, "Baby Giant Squid". This song remains unchanged from its cassette release on Melbourne's Resistance/Restraint label, but here it lays bare its perfection over a whole side of the record. Basslines that stand out one moment give way to dubbed out percussion, hissing tape delay and reverb drenched vocals. Simply, this post-kraut-dub-psyche-punk excursion looks back over it's shoulder as it leaves "Bella Lugosi's Dead" for dead. It's a sublime balance of improvisation and cold calculation. It's the tension between this teetering psychotic nihilism and arrangement with studio-like precision that gives Biased Advice the tone of a forewarning. But of what?

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