Qebo: Wroln
Low Impedance

Wroln finds Qebo (Greek electronica vets Alex Retsis and George Aggelides) doing post-graduate studies in Autechrian sound design with a strong focus on the EP7-Confield period. The duo's second release (Flopper appeared in 2002) offers seven tracks teeming with ricocheting beats, glitch-laden smears, and strangulated rhythms; imagine what a hive of agitated bees with microphones strapped to their bodies might sound like and anchor the results with hyper-active beats and you'll have a fairly good impression of Qebo's style. The uncompromisingly electronic Wroln isn't without appeal, however; unlike Confield, one definitely gets the sense that humans are controlling the machines (rather than vice-versa) and Qebo's sound design may be dense and busy but it's not incoherent. In “Cancer,” suppressed sounds eventually escape the straitjacket and rupture into a streaking stampede of tumbling beats and automated splatter. Some vague trace of hip-hop is even present in the writhing beats of “Deepcore” though admittedly it's so subtle it verges on inaudible; no such concealment attends “Kloink Media” where the rhythms are rather straightforwardly heard, with nary a viral element in sight. The arrhythmic soundscape “S0th5ng” brings Qebo's cinematic strengths to the forefront with the curdling flow of snuffling noises and wipes suggestive of a dying body dragging itself along the night streets, and every noise heard amplified. Musically, the release is lean at thirty-six minutes but the enhanced CD also includes three video treatments by Threepixels, Effekts, and Anthony Squizzato (which, unfortunately, could not be viewed on my system).

March 2008