Solenoid: Talking Acid
Community Library

Gearing up for a busy 2014, Community Library returns with a seven-inch single of playful acid house from underground dance music figure Solenoid (aka Portland resident David Chandler, who's also issued material under the DJ Brokenwindow name and partners with Paul Dickow in running Community Library). As durable a presence as Solenoid himself, the ever-resilient genre gets dusted off in two four-minute tracks that gurgle and bounce in that familiar acid house style, though with a twist: in this case the immediately identifiable frog-like squelch of the TB-303 Bassline generator takes on a decidedly human-like quality—even if it's a vocal sound that squirms and croaks in that best swamp creature tradition. Chandler happened upon the single's sound somewhat by accident as it developed out of his working with the filtering effect in a scrapped circuit he found in an abandoned rack of vintage audio electronics.

Powered by a pumping pulse, “Pharaoh Acid” gurgles out of the gate, its wiry, jackhammer swing a secure base for the writhing acid patterns that somersault carefreely alongside it. The tune's got meat on its bones, too, what with a thick sub-bass roaming down below, and even takes a brief detour into Kratwerkian dystopianism along the way. There are moments when the acid patterns' gobble start to sound like nothing other than a talkbox, something even more pronounced in the aptly titled B-side “Frog Acid” where the acid squelch seems even more convulsive than usual. Stripped-down in comparison to the opening cut, “Frog Acid” limits its sound palette to a grooving house beat and a croak so pronounced and relentless it suggests—if there is such a thing—a throat swallowing itself. Love that yellow sleeve, too.

January 2014