Spawned earlier this year, the Ukraine-based Oldturtles Tapes has put out three releases thus far, one of which is this tape by WOOL.
It’s seems like the underground has really been embracing electronic music lately, I’ve received a bunch of tapes/CD-rs over the past five months or so that prove it. This tape is one of those. “88” begins with a calm, slowly forming beat and echoing keyboard probably but maybe it’s a guitar? A new melody sounding like muted guitar harmonics leads the track into its next phase with a heavy, synth-bass undertow. The track is quite nice when the beat drops out leaving a glistening looped keyboard. I like all the elements of the piece but it’s not really composed that seamlessly, it kind of jumps section to section without building momentum. The next two are pretty sweet though. The second track “Kafakyak” (these are just my attempted transcriptions into the English alphabet, so I could be messing these titles up) is immediately more grooving. Incorporating live percussion, or samples thereof, the track slinks along confidently on the strength of its rhythms. The melodic elements are very understated which works well because there are hints of melody that make the track flow smoothly but the emphasis is kept on the beat. There are some creepy vocal samples that I could probably do without, but they don’t stop the track from really movin’. “Reapo” carries over the groove but introduces a much more complex, polyrhythmic pattern also sampled from percussion I guessing. There’s a heavily reverbed, drum machined snare hit that provides so much drama and authority to the track; it’s killer, every second or so there’s this massive “wwwwoooooshkkkkkkk”. The “melodic” elements are kept rather minimal, though those elements are mainly a simple synth-bass line and a sample of a weird groan. The track works really well and comes together surprisingly succinctly.
The flipside brings “Hole” with its wobbly Dead Prez-like sub-bass line against a minimal drum machine pattern. The jam slowly expands with a loop of distorted guitar and synthetic chimes. It’s long, slow burn and a cool jam at that. It’s probably the darkest track so far and the echoing vocal samples don’t do anything to dispel that. Out of nowhere WOOL gets all scary and no longer dubstep with “Fuck You We Murder” a mid-tempo grinding rock number which is pretty cool aside from the hushed-screamed vocals and silly lyrics like “I hate you/I want to bury you/One by one”. The last minute and a half is called “3anynk” which is a swirl of fuzz, feedback, voices, a thumping drum and other.
Limited to 50 and still available. Oldturtles peddles their tapes for only 3 bucks not including shipping, so it’s a cheap endeavor to check the label out and c’mon, how many chances do you get to add cool Ukranian dubstep tapes to your collection?