With new producers popping up on your download list every day, it always takes something special to stand out. Δkkord, or Akkord if your interface can’t handle the Greek alphabet, is an as-yet anonymous collective from Manchester that is obsessed with “minimalism, art, design, mathematics and sacred geometry” – all key facets of beautiful music in my opinion. Music Is Math, as they say. This particular crew has caught our attention not only with the sound of their first three-track EP, one that lives and breathes with pulsating percussion and a haunting depth of space, but with its very packaging: “Please note that this record comes housed in a hand-stamped 12″ record mailer that will have your name and address hand written on it and despatched with no additional packaging, thus personalising your copy.” No kidding.
“The Drums”, which begins with a philosphical treatise on the virtues of those titular instruments, combines buzzing, synthetic bass stabs with more organic ancillary percussion. The brooding atmospherics that drive the track are then peppered with the forlorn wailings of a a breathy female. This 115bpm anti-jam simply glistens with floating melodies and percussive reverb, and it’s a thrilling introduction to the world of Δkkord. “Back & Forth” is a curious beast. Initially it’s all Pearson Sound clicks and rolls, some Objekt deep vibes, ominous bass and frantic 808s. Hints of wobble oscillate between low-end throbs and high-pitched acid grooves. The slow build of this groover eventually culminates in a familiar sample, a mere snatch of the ever-recognisable “Renegade Master”. While I’m not entirely convinced by this – whether or not its party-starting buzz sits well with the minimalistic propulsion of this track is debatable – I can at least admit that it’s used sparingly enough so as not to be irritate or descend to the depths of pastiche.
The chilling strains of “Renewal” are lent no small amount of gravitas by a sample of words spoken by, or at least accredited to the Sioux musician and activist Floyd Red Crow Westerman: “Time evolves and comes to a place and time where it renews again. There is first a purification time, then there is renewal time. We are getting very close to this time. We were told that we would see America come and go. In a sense America is dying, from within.” These words of portent add a sense of ominous terror to what could otherwise simply be a functional dancefloor track. Without them, the track would be a perfectly serviceable percussive jam. As it stands, it’s almost an anthem for the end of the world.
If this EP isn’t enough for you, be sure to check out the free track “Submerged” recently given away by XLR8R, or their mix for Electronic Explorations. Their anonymity may for now be a novelty, but it’s the music that’s got us hooked.