Experience lizard tech on Reptant’s ‘Freq Accident’ EP
Planet Euphorique‘s latest species intake comes in the form of REPTANT – the reptilian side project of Melbourne’s Lou Karsh. Reptant ended up in a drain pipe after a storm and it’s believed that he is still there and has built a studio out of foraged electronics, some of which are believed to have been stolen from underground metro networks.
Lou‘s a live hardware act, notorious for taking his acid, breakbeat and electro heavy sound to hectic territories, but for his Reptant project, he’s brought the Lizard Tech to four monster tracks on D.Tiffany‘s Planet Euophorique imprint, incorporating all the best of old school influences with his penchant for careful production. Freq Accident is the name of the EP, and it’s no wonder that the record’s flying off shelves across the globe.
It kicks off with spacious ambience in ‘Ectoplastic”s introduction. Lush pads glide effortlessly over the echoed laser-like sound in the background, until a light synth comes in with the melody. The percussion slowly fades in, and it’s here that the EP comes into full force. We’re lulled into a false sense of down-tempo atmosphere until it all falls away in one sweeping glissando, and is replaced by a signal of bleeps and bloops that hit so damn hard you forget for a second how the track began.
‘Monolith’ is driven by a punchy, syncopated bassline that’s later accentuated by a thick sine wave of sound that slowly undulates to a point. This one’s about the low frequencies, with the only high points in the track coming through courtesy of background chirps that lightly dot the percussive line. As the name suggests, this monolith of a track feels like one of the EP’s descriptors to a T – texture-step.
Track number three, and the EP’s title track’ ‘Freq Accident’ continues on that same train of undulating basslines and light bleeps as ‘Monolith’, but this one’s about the subtleties. There are so many layers to this one that feel unapparent on first listen, but with each listen, more sounds reveal themselves and the sound design feels not sparse, but almost overwhelming towards the end. Active listening gives this track the most justice as it’s about its nuances more than anything.
Finally, we’re left with ‘Liquid Acrobatics’ – a lush electro number teeming with 808 rim hits, laser-like sound effects and contrasted with lush, unintrusive pads that peep in and out of the track and leaving no trace while they do it. The melody is accented by a spaced-out vocal line, occasional bouts of reverb and crunchy percussion that really rounds out the EP.
There’s a lot to be explored and unpacked about this release. Although there’s only four tracks, it’s mammoth in its experimentation of both sound and ideas.
Reptant‘s recently been announced as one of five new members added to the Nectar family alongside Lou Karsh, Fabrics, Makeda and ptwiggs.
Check out the release onPlanet Euphorique‘s Bandcamp.
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Words by CAITLIN MEDCALF
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