Ekoplekz Live Review via Resident Advisor

What makes an artist timeless without a 25 year back catalogue? Not sure myself, but Ekoplekz has definitely got it. Working from his analogue studio in Bristol, he’s been setting new benchmarks as of late, carving out his own genre crafting sounds in to music. His live shows take on a life of their own, abandoning the notions of studio recreation and using the gear to start from scratch. In his own words, “it takes BALLS.”

Last year’s 12″ on Punch Drunk was backed up recently with an EP on Mordant Music; two records that represent next level production drawn from a person’s skill at composition and experience with their gear. Blown away by his pressings and the epically rare Memowrekz (35 tracks on 2 x cassette pack), Ekoplekz went straight to the top of the list of people we wanted to work with, and more importantly, hear more music from.

We’re going to be looking at his work in more detail soon, but in the meantime check out this review by Harry Sword of his recent live show with Vindicatrix in Cambridge.

via RA
Mordant Music has been following a distinctive musical trajectory over the course of their history. Tapping a visceral furrow that draws on library music, soundtrack, early industrial and mutant dubstep, theirs is a very British brand of dank electronics. And as Cambridge promoters Bad Timing have been exploring the outer reaches of such music for nearly a decade, it felt natural that two of Mordant’s more beguiling producers, Ekoplekz and Vindicatrix, should make their local debuts at the night.

The backroom of The Portland Arms was a perfect setting for the music: intimate, dark and slightly seedy. On arrival, Bad Timing promoter Nochexxx was playing a custom dubplate set. Bumping, cranky and personal, his tunes are stitched together from layer on layer of obscure samples (it makes perfect sense that he has been recording for Werk recently). Given the early hour the set was notably full on, with his own “Ritalin Love” and instantly recognizable “Smashing Your System” aired before Vindicatrix took to the cramped stage.

Hunched behind his bank of hardware, Vindicatrix quickly went about creating an atmosphere of palpable unease. Staccato beats tentatively assembled on the fly, punched in synth stabs, overdriven sub tones and a deep tremulous tenor voice were the hallmarks of his set, and initial nervous laughter from one corner of the room soon gave way to hushed appreciation. The bleak ambience was stifling, but utterly transfixing. By contrast, Ekoplekz’s live set was a joyous experience. Having recently released a 12-inch for Punch Drunk, as well as writing the respected Gutterbreakz blog, it’s easy to think of Ekoplekz in the context of the ever-mutating UK Bass continuum. However, his actual music bears practically no relation to it.

Playing with a selection of ’70s guitar pedals, effects units and a tiny Casio PT-20, he assembled alien waves of largely beatless sound that emphasized the complete and utter strangeness of electronic music removed from the context of scene or functionality. At times the music threatened to cave in on itself, and he was visibly pulling the set back round, which added a thrilling vulnerability to proceedings. It was fascinating to see both Mordant artists taking such obvious delight in pushing the circuitry of their small boxes to the limit. And although often challenging, the exhilaration of the music was ultimately transcendent.