As its title hints, this latest download only compilation from Clan Analogue ‘Coordinate: Collaboration Beyond The Algorithm’ aims to counteract the underlying algorithms that increasingly govern our interactions in forums such as social media, by randomly pairing together artists taken from a pool of fifty Australian and international applicants, the result being to push them out of their established stylistic comfort zones. It also marks Clan Analogue’s 50th release during a year that’s also seen the seminal Australian electronic music collective celebrate its 25th birthday.
As you’d expect given the aforementioned philosophy behind ‘Coordinate’, the twelve collaborations collected here from a range of predominantly newer names manage to diverge all of the place, ranging from dancefloor-centred techno through to moody ambience and experimental sounds whilst remaining consistently engaging. Wasters Of Time and Sunitram’s ‘Let The Robots’ opens this compilation with a distinctly Kraftwerkian wander through streamlined 4/4 techno rhythms and moody glittering synth arrangements that manages to pack some serious bass weight while also nodding to ‘Coordinate’s subject matter as cold synthesised voices list off a roll call of different social networks.
Jani Ho and Justin Mullins’ ‘Melberra’ meanwhile throws an electro-breakers snap into its clattering drum machines as dark elastic bass pads bounce against busily arpeggiated sequences and acid squeals, in what’s easily one of the most robotically funky workouts here, while elsewhere David Prescott-Steed and Sfbm’s ‘Heuristic’ ushers in a relentlessly thundering dark techno wander that calls to mind the implacable throb of Surgeon or Blawan, as ghostly treated samples trail at the very edges.
As mentioned before though, it’s certainly not all just about danceable structures here. Eighth Arrow and Pradip Sarkar with Damian Tangram’s aptly titled ‘Deep State’ fuses eerie witch-house tinged beats with pitch-shifted analogue synths and subtle feathery guitar strokes that evoke Boards Of Canada’s wistful pastoral landscapes, before Iubar Project vs Modus Op’s ‘Untold’ ventures out into darkly filmic abstraction, as sampled foreign conversation trails in the background against brooding cello chords and reverb-treated piano keys, the subtly-placed electronic elements heightening the growing sense of tension. Consistently interesting, ‘Coordinate’ offers up one of the best compilations I’ve heard from Clan Analogue in a while.