- Sonic paint-splatter experiments.
- The clue is in the name with the young Tehran-based label Active Listeners Club. Its releases demand your full attention with captivating, and sometimes jarring, constellations of elements. Make no mistake, "Club" is meant as a collective of listeners, not a place to dance. Almost all the music on the label would send a whole dance floor to the bar for a drink.
But whether or not it would work in a club, 1000PA's Vacuum Dub will cause low-key chaos in your headphones. Ramtin Niazi and Parsa Jamshidi have been collaborating since 2018, starting out with an album on Drvg Cvltvre's label, New York Haunted. Since they launched Active Listeners Club late in 2020, they've already released under three different aliases, one of which they describe as "acts of vandalism against your inner ears."
At times it feels like Vacuum Dub is pushing the artists' limits to the maximum, at others it feels like they have no limits at all. You can imagine them sitting there, unsatisfied with a borderline conventional track they've just made, and asking each other, "What can we do to fuck this up?" Answer: "Seeksarw," this record's most oddly contorted moment, a drunken stumble through angular, disorientating darkness.
Some passages, like "Vaanz Erouar," are comparatively serene, giving a moment's rest while you prepare for whatever madness lies around the corner. Traditional Persian string instruments, or perhaps software replicas, offer occasional moments of melody, and low rumbling groans recall the edge-of-your-seat sound design from Jurassic Park. The glitchy, reverberating plucks of "Fyvpont Fyvawr" prefer to purr than bark, teeing up the squashy rhythm to come.
Vacuum Dub's sound design is imposing and cacophonous, like an alien orchestra playing instruments they've never seen before. At times it borders on comical, but the tracks are short, and just before they reach the edge, they check themselves, simmering into a thick and somehow beautiful stew.
01. Fiwet Unearredit
02. Seifok Darrson Dei
04. Fyvpont Fyvawr
05. Vaanpynfai Varr
06. Vantu Fyvfokdar
07. Tufifetu Naar
08. Vaanz Erouar