Diversions 1994 — 1996
The warm, lilting murk of Lee Gamble's new EP, Diversions 1994 — 1996, has allegedly been excavated from the dark corners of Gamble's collection of cassette jungle mixtapes. Although, given the amount of processing involved, the chances of the listener identifying the source material are slim to none (save for "Dollis Hill"). It doesn't ultimately matter, as the hovering minimalism of the disc is quite engaging without this knowledge. Ensconced in a thin, smoky cloud of hiss, each track uses iterative, skeletal fragments that evolve slowly as they repeat steadily yet listlessly. Building a strange in-between acoustic space, which feels both large and reverberant yet utterly flat and two-dimensional, these simple pieces are alluring and hypnotic, recalling some of Giuseppe Ielasi and Nicola Ratti's collaboration as Bellows. While the aforementioned "Dollis Hill" is the only time you'll actually hear a break beat, the muffled vocal samples, greyish harmonic surfaces and electric whispers heard elsewhere, while lacking the momentum of dance music, feel like a vague sonic after-image of jungle music. This is a rather intriguing, yet very abstract release.
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