It begins in your face with booming bombastic rhythms, almost pummelling, and you immediately know the world you’re inhabiting but then abruptly there’s a sugary melodic left turn that would make Aphex Twin blush. This piece ‘Wooly Mammut’ is something as a signifier of the album as a whole. Just when you think you have Australian electronic artist Tim Koch pegged, suddenly a whole other world appears.
Volpanning is a master class in edgy machine funk, a dance party on the edge of the circuit board, where a feverish psychedelia breeds within the rigidity of locked grids and sequenced loops. It’s subtle but it grows throughout the pieces, whether it’s the periodically exuberant hyper energised squelches, the dystopian pitch downs or mournful synthetic Blade Runner laments, these flourishes are the sounds of subversion, of a refusal to adhere to expectation. They’re anti establishment electrics – because Volpanning is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Do electrics dream of scattered nightmare dubs? Or do they prefer complex skittery rhythms, taut ironclad bass and oscillating synthetic flourishes? Volpanning is new world electronica, a place where genres collide, techniques collide, tempos collide and expectations collide.
So much is happening beneath the surface, more often than not the foreground keeps you rhythmically locked, while all manner of atmospheric weirdness roams freely behind. At first you think this music is rigid, percussive, even repetitive, but Volpanning is the audio equivalent of those magic eye pictures where if you focus on the beats and taut machine funk, and relax your ears, a whole other world appears often moving in an entirely different direction. Within the form there’s so much going on, all you have to do is be willing to listen.