Clay Wilson Skandha EP
The Bunker New York's latest is another moody excursion for the stellar elecronic-music label.
The long-running NYC affair known as the Bunker has been heralded as the “Godfather of Weird Techno Parties”—and its year-plus-old affiliated label, the Bunker New York imprint, has been as avant-garde and experimental as their murky bashes. Deep inside NYC’s burgeoning experimental-music scene, fellow New Yorker Clay Wilson is the producer behind the label’s 14th release. It’s not the first time that Clay has the brought the fuzz to the hallowed vaults of the Bunker, and the Skandha EP continues the producer’s knack for unsettling and challenging musical excursions.
The Bunker’s moody credentials shine with the throbbing title track, laying witness to Wilson’s textural nuances and and knack for droning percussive atmosphere, rather than on the driving, pounding 16-bar formula that’s endemic to the majority of middle-of-the-road techno. The beats sound more akin to pieces of sandpaper causing friction burns on soft hands, and the track’s bell-tuned percussion resonate like blips on a radar.
“Cataleptic” comes equipped with synthesizer echoes and stiff, swollen 4/4 kicks, delivered through a hazy veil of lo-fi sonics, with gusts of vocal chants and field recordings of birds chirping before being fading into mere echoes. There’s lots jam-packed into the nooks and crannies of this track—its sub-level base of dark and inviting atmosphere beckons you in, yet doesn’t divert from the unrelenting, metronomic rhythm laying at its core. It’s like Throbbing Gristle and Radio Slave combining their individual weirdness and forces.
“Feres” features wailing sirens and echoing, unsettling noises, as a skippy techno beat and bell-chime groove onward in the background, while the eerie sounds of the night taking precedence in the foreground. Finally, Clay serves up “Pict,” a dizzying track with swirling synths, zipping and strained echoes and razor edged snares, adding up to a voyeuristic, darkly delicious outing that shifts focus towards its unique melodies, long atmospheric flourishes and layers of sonic nuances.