- "For me music should reflect the sick society we live in, and the people we are," Amsterdam's DJ Marcelle said in a recent interview. She was talking about her DJ mixes, white-knuckle three-deck rides unrestrained by conventional genre or current "selector" paradigms. Joyful, disruptive and full of groove, you can see how Marcelle's art reflects life. In recent years the cult artist has distilled these qualities into a series of club productions, though their overbalanced drum loops, viscous low-end and surreal sampladelia stretch the term to breaking point. Somehow they're still a pleasure to listen to. As Philip Seymour Hoffman—one of Marcelle's favourite actors—tells us on the A2 of her latest 12-inch over a stuttering rhythm that might have been sampled from a skipping digi-dub CDR, "the secret… is laughter."
Marcelle's music isn't just funny, though. She has a compelling leftfield rhythmic sense, which was particularly strong on last year's Too. This is less evident on Psalm Tree. Whenever there is a stable beat, it seems to be running backwards. "Walking Around Aimlessly" limps and lurches along for a bewildering six and a half minutes, punctuated by the odd bit of whistling. Elsewhere the beat is so fast that groove becomes convulsion, as on "To Sing Along," where shrill nursery-rhyme piano meets a hailstorm of electroid percussion and noxious bass. Or it can never quite find its flow, like with "To Evacuate Is Difficult And Infrequent," a locked-groove of farting bass and wheezing hi-end. The track, a voice tells us, is about "a common ailment resulting from sedentary lifestyles… constipation." The pace picks up at the end, just as the narrator offers a possible solution to our bowel woes. It's olive oil.
A1 Psalm 3, Verse 1: To Evacuate Is Difficult And Infrequent
A2 Psalm 3, Verse 2: To Reveal The Secret
B1 Psalm 3, Verse 3: Walking Around Aimlessly
B2 Psalm 3, Verse 4: To Sing Along