Call Super: Suzi Ecto

That Call Super's debut album Suzi Ecto resists easy classification is one of the best things about it. As abstract in make-up as its cover image, the forty-four-minute album's eleven tracks inhabit their own spectral universe, light years removed from those associated with standardized musical genres. Little useful information accompanies the release—there's nothing included about the artist responsible for the material, and the infosheet provides little of value—so one is left with little more than the music itself. But that's more than enough, as the album's content is sufficiently engaging on its own terms.

But to be more precise, it's not entirely accurate to assert that Suzi Ecto reveals no connections to established forms. Its second cut, “Dovetail,” for example, includes within its design an insistently swinging pulse that ties it to house, and its trippy synth flourishes likewise hint at a connection to various types of psychedelic music. But even so the track never sits in one place for long and mercurially avoids slotting itself into any one category. Neither is Suzi Ecto sui generis in the construction department, with Call Super adopting many of the same practices as those favoured by other producers. In a form of practice that's grown common in electronic music production, tracks appear to be built up in part using samples of found sounds as well as field recordings.

“Sulu Sekou” catches one's ear for the sinuous sax solo that drifts through its found sounds-heavy arrangement and imbues the track with a jazzy feel, whereas “Okko Ink” plays like some heady blend of Afrobeat, free jazz, and synthesizer music. While such track titles are more ambiguous in meaning, it hardly surprises that one such as “Raindance” evokes the dizzying fever associated with an outdoors dance ritual. Armed with hi-hats and kick drums, “Hoax Eye” lunges forth with a bass-heavy attack that, despite the presence multiple flurries of noise effects, locates the track squarely within club-related territory. Such material brings the Call Super project into clearer focus by showing the way grounding rhythmic elements are destabilized by the track's freewheeling experimental design. In that regard, Houndstooth would seem to be a natural home for the album, given the label's propensity for audacious, forward-thinking conceptions.

October 2014