- He didn't exactly start out making straight ahead rollers, but with each release Fis has eased further and further away from drum & bass in favour of grid-less planes. Last year's Preparations and Iterations for Tri Angle finally suggested he'd smashed open and escaped his cage, but as the bars dissolved, so too did some of the character—both EPs occasionally slipped into a dark and formless style that could be frustratingly easy to half-hear and forget. The best moments of those EPs—the enveloping chaos of "Her Third Eye (Drum Rain)," the thunderous hammers and clicks of "CE Visions"—showed that pushing something past the breaking point requires a soft touch.
Speech Spirits works this tension perfectly. Again, there's the slightest waft of drum & bass, but it ghost the genre without explicit reference—a little junglist bass here, an unexpected swing there. The title track takes a leaf out of T++'s book, as woody percussion and sharply decelerating squalls spiral one way while forceful jabs of sub-bass hit you the other. "Knecht" is a little slower but no less violently magnetizing. Drums undulate and are knocked sideways as further hits whistle and descend into position. Both tracks are memorable but brutally concise.
On his remix of "Speech Spirits," Kassem Mosse opts for his usual let-the-machine-run-and-I'll-tinker approach. His drums are more tightly looped than Fis's, and the addition of a carnivalesque melody adds a new congenial glow. Oren Ambarchi stretches the track out to a feature-length runtime of nearly 14 minutes, and arranges the drums over menacing guitar, blackening the sky and reflecting Fis's ability to build tension without climax.
A1 Speech Spirits
B1 Speech Spirits (Kassem Mosse'd)
B2 Speech Spirits (The Nagger by Oren Ambarchi)