Feend hails from California; producer and DJ skirting on the outer edges of hip-hop, creating dusty, chilled beat-scapes, awash with the Californian sun, and a heady dose of treated electronics. His first, lovingly released by I Had An Accident Records, who break the usual mould of ambient/drone dominated cassette tape labels, has been released in limited numbers as usual, but this time half will be quality chrome cassette tapes, either way the format fits the dusty lo-fi quality of the sounds.
Each side is its own journey, side one awash with static, rising from the depths, plodding languid beats drag the sounds along with them, an overall brooding atmosphere is present, fractured by detuned shards of electronic tones. Side two shifts from pulsing synth drones, to industrial percussion buried deep in the mix, nudging at wavering electronic pulses. Side two is more on the experimental end of what Feend produce’, there is more menace and aggression, rapid fire bass kicks hinting the man sometimes likes his music very hardâ€¦ Half way through this wonderful cassette, things settle down with some nice rolling drum breaks, retaining a slight menace. Slowly more shiny synths bring the mood up, but it still feels like a surreal dream.
I love Feend’ restrained use of electronic sounds, never overcrowding the atmosphere, choosing just a few and letting them shine. Reminds me of how Boards Of Canada detune their loops, the sounds being both ancient and contemporary, the warm sounds of today, and fractured sounds you may find on some obscure Creel Pone release from five decades ago.
This tape hasn’ been out of my car for weeks, so I must apologise, because as I write this I know that I Had An Accident have almost sold out. So act now, if you’ve been bitten by the resurging tape culture, like I have, this is a must, and if you refuse to look back and embrace the format, it comes with a digital download to keep you happy. Someone told me recently instrumental hip-hop is dead, this release proves that very wrong.