Based in the Northern UK, electronic producer Tom Knapp previously ran the Icasea label alongside Team Doyobi’s Alex Peverett and Satoshi Aizawa. Following two ultra-limited cassette releases over the last couple of years, this latest 12” EP ‘Index Hole’ on Sheffield label Central Processing Unit offers up his first wider release, with four new tracks that lean distinctly towards the more abstracted side of IDM.
In this case, there’s a far greater emphasis on intricately sculpted headphone textures and stereo panning than the dancefloor. ‘Arc Rail’ introduces the abrasive industrial aesthetic that lurks beneath much of this EP as clattering steel-coiled breakbeats stutter and tic against dark shivering bass tones and frequency-modulated hints of melody, the sharp contrast between the sheeny background elements and the harsh arrhythmia going on in the foreground calling to mind The Black Dog.
‘BX16’ drops the pace down to a deconstructed hiphop crawl as DSP-contorted kickdrums lurch against blurred out snare sweeps and ominously looming sub-bass, the resulting effect calling to mind some huge mechanical beast crawling to its demise as the timestretched metallic rhythms scrape and interlock. ‘Mitherer’ meanwhile offers up what’s easily this EP’s most ferociously abstracted moments, sending whirling layers of digitally fractured noise bursts, manipulated metallic tones and glitchy errors into a roaring maelstrom of intricately detailed sharp edges that recalls some of Patten’s more forbidding sample-based explorations.
Finally, ‘6448’ closes this EP with its most rhythmically approachable moment as treacherously unpredictable electro / hiphop rhythms lurch and judder against dark EBM-tinged bass sequences and glittering electronics, the gothy crunked-out groove seeming to grow more and more contorted as it progresses. Dark, impressive stuff that’s not for the fainthearted.