Tripped-out soundscapes with hints of dance music.
Wonja Fairbrother conjures foreign but familiar realms on her Wood Glass Metal mix series, stitching together experimental and traditional music in a way that recalls the sensuous world-building of Spencer Doran's hallowed Fairlights, Mallets And Bamboo mixes. That sense of wonder carries over into Motoko & Myers, a new project with her partner, Daniel Letson (who makes dance music as DJML and collaborates with Fairbrother on a radio show called Herzog Hideout). On Basis Key, Fairbrother and Letson cobble together rustic soundscapes with whatever equipment they had in their studio, coming up with something that both feels exotic and homespun.
There's a muggy atmosphere and lazy-day sluggishness to Basis Key that reminds me of Yu Su and Scott Gailey's work as You're Me. But where that duo took inspiration from Gulf Island landscapes, Motoko & Myers' world is more insular. Tracks like "Lens Heaven" or "Glochid Tuft" bake in their own humid atmospheres. Shreds of dance music appear here and there—"Super Potato" has hints of house, while the chiming loops of "Glochid Tuft" recall Luke Slater—but elsewhere ("Basis Key") the duo are immersed in the slow rhythms and tripped-out effects of dub.
While Fairbrother and Letson let their minds and hands wander on Basis Key, they also deliver catchy basslines that anchor their tracks, like on "Living Motif." They occasionally find a sound or loop and linger on it. The best track is "Seed Cycling," where everything seems to fall magically into place, another irresistible bassline unfurling under a world of droning melodies and strummed arpeggios. It's a beautiful scene.
Tracklist01. Shio Nuite
02. Super Potato
03. Basis Key
04. Sans Time Tone Milk
05. Glochid Tuft
06. Seed Cycling
07. Living Motif
08. Lens Heaven