Shackleton's unique sound continues to evolve on this excellent EP.
The title Furnace Of Guts is taken from a passage in Emil Cioran's book A Short History Of Decay, where the philosopher describes the "lie within the lie" of falling in love—the idea that another person is only warm flesh, and not enough to give us what we need from the universe. It's an evocative phrase that suits Sam Shackleton's music. It also reflects the unusual visceral nature of this two-track EP, where the artist stretches the human voice over totemic, trembling instrumentals.
On the title track, an unintelligible vocal sample transforms into a humming and stuttering chorus, while Shackleton's signature mallets orbit drums that stomp in fits. It's hectic even by his standards. The chaos momentarily falls away, revealing the delicacy of the melody and the brightness of the instruments.
"Wakefulness And Obsession" is where the most magic happens. Drums are spliced into shards and played backwards while voices drone in eerie circles like a meditation ritual. There's the same chaotic feel as "Furnace Of Guts," but this time the drums occasionally converge into four-on-the-floor patterns. It's arresting to hear moments so straightforward in a Shackleton track, especially the groove that hints at techno and dubstep in the final minutes. Over the years, Shackleton's music has evolved into a cryptic and perplexing language, sometimes for better and sometimes for worse. By combining the most hectic aspects of Shackleton's music with flashes of conventional musicality, Furnace Of Guts suggests a new way forward.
TracklistA Furnace Of Guts
B Wakefulness And Obsession