1080p is steadily becoming one of the premier house/techno cassette labels, as such coming to grips with electronic music being a medium “more for the mind than the body.” It’s not just the analogue-birthed bleeps and bloops, the withered drum sounds or the generally languid vibes that give the label its steady reputation. Rather, it’s how the songs are presented and at such a consistent basis that seems to have afforded the label a nascent niche in the tape world. Nearing the threshold of becoming a Vancouver staple in just over a year, 1080p, headed by Richard MacFarlane, has over the summer surpassed the 20-release mark, with July’s Xerox pegging number 18. The project is a transatlantic joint venture in hybridized, abstract techno from UK duo Perfume Advert and the Brooklyn-based M/M, here as ATM, who’ve respectively comprised the seventh and third releases of the label as separate makers last year. Like the instalments that preceded, Xerox has been dubbed to cassette: a chunk of the renewed contingent that is inclined to the medium have for good reason started to pin their ears toward 1080 for its continued clinic in texture attainment. A couple months ago, Fact introduced their audience to the label by picking 5 favorited releases; Xerox, marking further MacFarlane’s honed ear for quality, was included and is as good of a point of entry as any other into label’s already sprawling lineup.
Like the dry and electronic process that xerography is, Xerox presents mostly combinations of arid, sanded drums adhered to desolate atmospheres, though as they are styled here don’t come off as simple and unchanging as your machine at work. Espousing Perfume Advert’s seeming penchant for slow-grooving house beats but eschewing M/M’s subterranean murk (except for maybe “MTA”), the tape moves pretty evenly back and forth between brisk-paced melancholy and immersive, ambience-based landscapes. Certainly don’t skip here, but “Pre-Modern”, whose nocturnal landscape the listener can nearly feel with ambient swells that play the perfect foil, is one of the earliest tracks on the tape that imparts virtually a dual sensory experience; with a proper fade out that underlines the idea, it gives the impression that this, somewhere, impossible as it may be, was once heard in nature. The preceding “Failed Interaction” is particularly hazy, where deep chugging kicks and short R&B abstractions are the timekeepers of a faded, deconstructing melodic structure. Xerox is a tape with wonderful, nuanced texture abound.
Stream: ATM – ‘Xerox’
Xerox was released July 15 and can be purchased on Bamdcamp, with few cassettes remaining.