ENSEMBLE SKALECTRIK – Trainwrekz
Editions Mego [eMEGO 169]
reviewed by: Peter Marks
ENG: Modern culture has just been vaporized by Ensemble Skalectrik. Whatever notions of comfort you may have had safely ensconced in your cozy abode have just had their molecules pulled apart and shoved back together in a manner Mary Shelley would have had to have overdosed to depict with any kind of accuracy. The bubbling analogue misanthropy we find on Trainwrekz is fearsome to take in, mirthful in execution yet tempered by the overwhelming sensation of impending evolutionary chaos. Nothing is fixed to a point here in the Ensemble’s vast stockpile of auditory alchemical agents. Time becomes unstuck, objects move out of alignment.
Each of the pieces on here contains the word Wrek in the title and through the continued exposure to these voracious experiments I have begun to see them drift about randomly off my playlist, out of my speakers and then right up to the edge of the screen to inspect what I’m doing. If you don’t have your own imagination sent reeling off on an incalculable number of tangential threads then you don’t deserve your ears. It took me over a month of having this album to truly recognize what it is: the thimble by which one navigates across the rows and, ehem, wreckage of the six compositions which Mr. Nick Edwards somehow managed to channel through his equipment.
I’ve heard EPs by this project of his before but they never got this far out and for a guy who’s been mining the outermost regions of the psyche like Edwards has, this is saying something. I’m a firm believer in trilogies and to me, Trainwrekz is the concluding third movement of a symphony which The Nunton Complekz and Plekzationz began. I’ve tested my theory, oh doubters, by playing all three in succession and by the time I finished let’s just say that the leaves in the trees outside were singing. These works were no doubt a series of laboratory trials in the field of machinery turned in upon the mind, there can be no other explanation.
And no, there is no discernible ska influence to be found, so you trainspotters can stop snickering.
That he’s just released a new album under the more recognizable name of Ekoplekz tells me whatever was discovered on these excursions must have been quite a revelation because material like the Skalectrikz release quite plainly was just the door opening into a deeper, more mysterious basement of the cerebellum. This is the full-cut of what he found buried in the cellar of an abandoned labyrinth, each door one opens leads into another even stranger acoustical space which has been manipulated so cleverly you won’t even notice that gravity no longer applies. You are free to move about the cabin now, ladies and gentlemen, captain Edwards has just turned off the reality sign.
Move through the currents, push against convention until you have reached your zenith… whatever that may be, but don’t ever say you didn’t see this coming. Along with the eMMplekz’s Izod Days and his collaboration with the Clef as Ekoclef, this fellow’s body of work only becomes more grandiose. Opulent even. But never decadent, pompous or contrived. In the rarefied para-dimensional plane which is experimental electronics, Nick shows no signs of doing anything but becoming more and more enigmatic. His influences have been overcome and now in 2013 I find him carving his pieces out of shapes and sounds he alone has the manual for.