Wednesday, 8 February 2017

pHarmerz - 20 Acid Clonk Greats

Sheena is no longer a punk rocker, she's an acid casualty suffering severe Ramones flashbacks ('one-two-three-four!') - I know the feeling, not that I've ever taken acid, but I did see The Ramones in their prime - so, surprise, surprise, with titles like this, the 'spirit of Punk' (though I'm loath to use that term, too late) pervades not just this album by Farmer Glitch and Ekoplekz, but the whole DIY ethos of the Eastville Project.

Nothing new there, you say; true, but that 'spirit' is harder to capture than merely doing it (independent music) yourself. Where much Techno (and current mainstream variations) takes pride in smooth, clean production values, pHamerz, along with the whole West Country New Thing, rejoices in raw feeling, improv attitude and stressed fidelity. None of that detracts from this duo's desire to wrench rotten, fonky grooves from the machinery. As you probably know, Ekoplekz has been doing that for years, rarely straying off the rhythm track, albeit a wobbly one of his own making.

The title and cover suggest a parody of/homage to Acid Trax compilations but the music is better than that; witness My Human Gets Me Acid as one example of how it's possible to stick a genre's head in the shredder, leaving a body with thrashing arms and legs. Even more so on Skronky Acid Party (parts 1&2) and, yes, another pun title, of course, this time with reference to a guiding light in Nick Edwards' music, Lee Perry.

Across the 8 tracks 'acid' FX do battle with skronky, wonky rhythms as the beat goes on being mashed up, dented and distressed. The result is a flashback to the most mental rave you ever attended, in your head.

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