Shackleton - Freezing Opening Thawing

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  • Every Sam Shackleton release is an event because only he can make music like this. Through the Skull Disco days, label changes, inspired collaborations and an hour-long dystopian concept album, he's kept his music grounded in its own mystical foundation. Tribal-esque drums, snake charmer basslines and a devilish sense of melody have been the constants through all of it. His last release, a two-hour-plus box set, was so big it resulted in the longest time period between releases he's ever had. Freezing Opening Thawing, the first one since, finds him sounding as inspired and focused as ever. Anyone who's seen Shackleton play live recently won't be surprised by the bright timbres of "Freezing Opening Thawing." The 11-minute title track takes the chintzy instrumentation of The Drawbar Organ and builds on the idea, daubing his signature basslines with staccato mallet melodies. It's less ritualistic and more psychedelic than before, charging forward with an aggression that also feels new, not quite the sprawl of his more recent work nor the loopy madness of his oldest material. But most striking of all is the EP's artificiality. The release is said to place a newfound emphasis on synthesis rather than sampling, and each track is layered with glowing space-age sounds. Though it's subtler on the title track, the otherwise straightforward "Silver Keys" is overrun by a heady synth breakdown that feels like aliens coming down for an abduction. "White Flower With Silvery Eye" hearkens back to his classic period, but even this one is glazed with implacable sounds. With its birdcalls and animal noises, it's like a trip into the heart of the jungle.
  • Tracklist
      A Silver Keys B1 Freezing Opening B2 White Flower With Silvery Eye