Precision Field - Namazu
Released off label 2017
The legend of Namazu stems from Japanese mythology. A giant catfish that lives in the muds underneath the Islands of Japan on occasion will squirm and thrash causing earthquakes when its keeper Kashima lets his guard down. Only a particular stone can calm the monstrous catfish and stop the earth from quaking.
Hobart Blankenburg is the electro architect behind Precision Field. He returns with another heavily remixed extended play single. Last year we saw Close Your Eyes garner nice reviews and now we can once again join Precision Field's heartfelt decent into dark rhythmic tundras layered against lavish soundscapes where complexity and creativity flourish to bring forth the messages of life, death and spirituality.
There are eight versions of 'Namazu' on this extended play release. The original version of 'Namazu' appears first. It's the same version that originally surfaced on the Close Your Eyes single late last year. A slow repetitive beat pounds away with knife-to-the-throat distant vocals and obscure sampling. The strategically placed samples range from random spoken lines to guitars and the film Dark City .
The first remix is the eight and half minute opus surgically manipulated by James Mendez under his Jihad moniker. The remix is saturated with slow atmospheric showers of spiraling electronics that continually call out to the senses. The vocals are heavily distorted are become ancillary to the narrative of this remix.
Local Baltimoreans, Fun Never Starts and Nahja Mora along with the U.K.'s Flesh Eating Foundation all find themselves part of the remix family again. Fun Never Starts plays some very catchy electropunk tunes fronted by Jenny Rae Goodenough. The remix feels very distant from that approach. The heavy beats pulsate bombastically and at times they feel maladroit and chaotic. All of these conditions come together to forge a nice remix. Najha Mora picks up the torch and delivers some punishing pounding beats with a wide range backing samples and crazy sounds. Towards the end of the track, the music calms and the crickets chime in the coming of darkness as their sounds bleed into the background along with some piano. A nice touch!
Seattle's Chrome Corpse, British Columbia's Robouroboros and Austin's Mechanoreceptor join in on the remixing duties. Chrome Corpse delights us with some killer transitions that set up some nice opportunities to dazzle the listener with some very interesting and memorable treatments. Robouroboros delivers the noisey EBM influences with some atmospherical elements that add more dimension to the remix. Lastly, Mechanoreceptor closes the door on the remixes with a nice experimental IDM approach that drifts around chopping away at the base of the track assimilating the source material into its own and taking it far from the mother from which it was born.
'Extrastellar', 'Mortal Mass' and 'Revolver' are the non remix tracks. All three songs deliver the quality you would expect from a Precision Field track. Josef from Nahja Mora is credited with additional instruments on 'Extrastellar'. There are many sounds that thrive off the foundation and breathe complexity into the overall end product and those additional instruments are more than likely partially if not fully responsible for the friendly minimal bleeps and blips and mesmerizing synths inserted along with the guttural evil vocals that are lurking in the shadows of the design. 'Mortal Mass' is over six minutes of slow to moderate ritualistic churning industrial electronics layered against many more perfectly placed samples. 'Revolver' is another long song at over seven minutes that is filled with samples and throbbing swirling beats. There many pieces at work in this track and everything is well executed in this mild cacophony produced by the evolving influences Precision Field has absorbed. These influences ultimately bleed into the work and in turn, push the song writing into further regions of exploration.
Namazu is another reason to check out Precision Field as well as all of the talented remixers that offered their services to this release. Each and every one has something offer in the remixes as well as their own releases. As for Precision Field, I think it's time for a full-length physical release. Hobart has a story to tell and I look forward to hearing them on future releases. Look for Hobart to rejoin Nahja Mora as a live member for the July 30th show opening for Author & Punisher at The Ottobar.
Although this has not been released in physical format as of yet, it is available to purchase through Bandcamp. The mastering on Namazu was done by the busy Arnte of Pyrroline. The signature artwork was done by Sara Blankenburg.
Jul 04 2017
Part time reviewer since 2012 with over 140 contributions with reviews, interviews and news articles.
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