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wanda group-piss fell out like sunlight lp (opal tapes)

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wanda group: piss fell out like sunlight

Wanda Group is the Brighton-based Louis Johnstone, whose prolific output for labels like Astro:Dynamics, NNA Tapes, and Leaving makes him one of the most intriguing voices in contemporary electronic music. Johnstone's recent discography is best understood as a process of refinement: the more overt sampledelia of 2010's Caveman Smack under the Dem Hunger alias has been gradually distilled until only the barely-there remnants of damage and decay remain. With that arc in mind, the excellently-titled Piss Fell Out Like Sunlight for Opal Tapes is perhaps the producer's subtlest, gauziest work yet. Johnstone assembles these two side-length tracks out of large building blocks: 30 seconds or a minute of a single idea, each cross-faded into the next, moments recurring multiple times or bookending others to form oblique poetic sentences. The results function like a particularly cryptic, labyrinthine mini-mixtape. Within that, dance forms occasionally come under scrutiny: early in "Her Stomach on Terror" we're treated to a baleful techno throb over which reedy synths chirrup restlessly; later on, a hard-edged, Andy Stott-esque thump holds sway for a minute or so. The latter half of "Pans Out in the Afterlife" is dominated by a desiccated hulk of a kick drum, dreamy Detroit pads wheeling overhead. But Johnstone's relationship to the current crop of noise-techno fusionists is only passing; mostly this is an album of weightless moments: delicate washes of electrical hum, amplified grit in the wires, burbling synth clusters and stringently buried melodies. What's remarkable is the pathos that Johnstone wrings from these most microscopic of sonic phenomena.


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