Miskate: Pharm Wacker

Someone Else: Happiness For Our Time

Someone Else (Sean O'Neal) and Miskate (Kate Iwanowicz) issue fabulous tracks whether together (Gullah Go-Go) or apart. Two individual releases, Happiness For Our Time and Pharm Whacker, find the pair operating on all cylinders. They're natural collaborators, not only because they're foundsound co-founders but also because of their shared found sound modus operandi and free-thinking sensibilities. Both artists' tracks satisfy for being both experimentally adventurous and infectiously danceable too.

Miskate's farm-themed release features two eight-minute epics that showcase her eccentric and inventive take on minimal techno. A filthy bass synth prods the insistent tech-house tick of “Weed Whacker,” establishing a minimal base upon which a plethora of noises collides. Iwanowicz's sources apparently include farm animals, spilled sticks, dry leaves, and hand tools, so the tune's title is anything but randomly determined. Birds chirp, liquids spill, and voices gurgle while a skipping pulse swings determinedly. The flip's laid-back groover “Pharm Farm” veers and swerves brusquely down the country paths, as chopped voice edits struggle to reach some level of coherence. Adult voices growl and hoot amidst the hollers of laughing children and camels barking, all of it eventually coalescing into a brain-addling cocktail.

O'Neal continues to perfect his foundsound art on Happiness For Our Time on Microcosm, a sequel of sorts to Ploosh (recently featured on Michael Mayer's Immer 2 mix). The bass-heavy title cut lurches through a swamp of rippling crackle and hi-hat ticks like a preprogrammed monster. A massive kick drum anchors the tune while a plethora of voice fragments mass into glossolalia and synth swooshes. Nicholas Sauser's ‘Let's All Be Someone Else' mix introduces an irresistible Chicago house feel without diminishing the original's found sound sensibility. Voice snippets (a frog-like croak motif in particular) and noises still careen throughout but the vibe is pure dance floor nirvana, especially when driven by a rolling bass line that's a slippery as an eel swimming in a mercury vat. Hold on for the B-side's neck-snapping “Carespray” whose ten-ton house pulse pounds relentlessly while garbled voices babble incomprehensibly and exhale slithering groans over top. A late-inning breakdown strips the tune, all the better to hear the hiccups and snippets, before building it up again for the coda. Three cuts (five counting Miskate's) of top-grade Microcosm and foundsound genius: what more could you ask for?

January 2007