W.Rotherham producer Rian Treanor is an experimental maverick in the grid-based continuum of modern electronic music. Kicks on all fours Avoiding his drums and repetitive synths, Treanor swaps screeching, screeching, shotgun bass, stretching formulaic structures into amorphous tracks that veer between danceable and dissonant increase.
Treanor’s influence extends to British computer music innovators such as Autechre, Aphex Twin and his father Mark Fell. His 2019 debut, Ataxia, consists of a fractal, bass-heavy compilation, while 2020’s File Under UK Metaplasm grew from his residency at Ugandan label Nyege Nyege’s Kampala studio, with Treanor. was introduced to East African hyperspeed dance styles such as Singeri and Barani.
Treanor’s latest record, Saccades, continues the link with Nyege Nyege with a collaboration with Ugandan folk fiddler Ocen James. James’s one-string violin, Rigi, is a perfect match for Trenor’s plastic-his soundscape, producing the most melodic, dance-floor work to date.
The album begins with Trenor and James immersing themselves in a new world of sound. Bleeding between the organic and the synthetic, on his opening numbers Bunga Bule and As It Happens, James twists his bow to create an animalistic shriek that complements Treanor’s clattering polyrhythms and rolling snares. An identifiable melody finally makes its way to The Dead Center, layered with arpeggiated phrases to build a gorgeous, enveloping sound from James’ single string.
After this introduction, shades of Trenor’s dance floor aesthetic come into the frame. Agoya and Naasaccade increase kick drum patterns and wiggle melodies to Ataxia’s warping techno, while Tiyo Ki thunders on breakbeats. Throughout, James’ rigi rigi is the unifying element, anchoring Tiyo Ki’s sweeping rhythms to a languid, bow-like melody, punctuating Agoya and Naasaccade’s kick his drums with staccato plucking.
James’ presence softens Trenor’s dense composition and creates a sense of the song that the listener can grasp in a rhythmic assault. The more you listen to the saccades, the more these layered rhythms and melodies ultimately become more compelling, creating an embodied emotional response to the enigmatic music.
Also released this month
South African folk singer wake up mufflerA 1994 studio collaboration between singer-songwriter Norman Zulu and Swedish jazz group Jive Connection will be re-released as Face to Face (Strut Recordings). Set deep in midtempo swing, the record is an elegant time capsule that traverses funk, reggae and euphoric melodies.Palestinian singer Rasha Nahas‘s falsetto creates a soulful intimacy on their serene second album Amrat (Cooking Vinyl).Brazilian singer Lucas Santana Released his latest record, O Paraíso (No Format), he blends clave rhythms with horn fanfare to create 10 uptempo celebratory tracks.