Miskate: Afterblaster EP

Someone Else: Lowdown Brittle EP

Afterblaster EP , Miskate's latest 12-inch, perpetuates the quirky and whimsical style Kate Iwanowicz refined in previous Microcosm (Lil'tugtug) and foundsound (Zuni, Pharm Wacker) outings. The focal point of “Afterblaster” isn't so much its steadily loping strut but the one-sided phone commentary that Miskate re-shapes like silly putty throughout. Protestations of affection (“Hi, my love…,” “I love you…”), post-party reportage (“Last night, was a pretty good party…” “He's the only guy I've met that has nothing to…”), and operator interjections (“Press 7, press 9”) collide with other, less intelligible elements that Miskate radically distorts. One's attention is so engaged by the morphing vocal effects, one almost overlooks the subtly soulful wooziness and percussive accents she adds to the song's midtempo pulse. The funkier “People Began Sequences” works a motley collection of barrelhouse slams, voice micro-edits, and obsessively scratchy noises atop a lurching, bass-heavy pulse. The EP closes with saidsound (Ezekiel Honig) and Nicholas Sauser collaborating on a ‘saidsauser' makeover of “Afterblaster.” The duo wholly re-invents the tune by de-emphasizing the original's vocal dimension and moving the percussive elements to the forefront, thereby transforming the tune into a swinging Afro-dance excursion that rivals the original.

With a bit of help from Fusiphorm (Sylvain Takerkart) and WiNK (Philadelphian Josh Wink), Someone Else (Sean O'Neal) squeezes in a Lowdown Brittle 12-inch before the release of his full-length debut Pen Caps and Colored Pencils. The original “Lowdown Brittle” opens the disc with the sound of Fusiphorm's voice (explaining the label artists' production methodology) accompanied by a prototypical foundsound groove. Someone Else slices the voice material and deepens the romping pulse with claps and a bumping bass line. Fusiphorm himself tackles the tune for a ‘simple' remix that's anything but. The metronomic pulse dons its finest jittery jewelry and rolls out a chugging bass rumble that more than credibly takes the place of the now-downplayed voice elements. If Fusiphorm's dizzying treatment is slightly clubbier than the original, WiNK's ‘profound sound interpretation' tears the roof off in a twelve-minute rabble-rouser. Low voice croaks, demented bass lines, swinging percussion elements, and hand-claps propel it forward as Wink tightens the tension with brain-addling breakdowns and a wiry acid-synth line—about as far removed from dehydrated minimalism as one could possibly get.

June 2007