Call Super – ‘Black Octagons’ (Houndstooth)

Call Super, the Berlin resident born J.R Seaton, is one of this year’s best underground breakthroughs, signed to a label of similar status, Houndstooth. His second label release, ‘Black Octagons’, builds on a promising debut, arriving accompanied by some of the most perplexing press materials you’re likely to read.

The title track opens with high-pitched kicks and a busy mid-range, sporadically interjected by noise and synth-UFOs. Delayed snares roll into a breakdown leaving other-worldly bleeps morphing in the distance. They give the track a heady quality that recalls Jeff Mills, in particular his Something In The Sky series, tempering ‘Black Octagons’ away from the dancefloor. Even minor structural details – like the few-second intro note before the opening drums – nod to the bar set by Mills.

In ‘Dewsbury Severance’ the synth line plays a more central role, with the kicks buried deep under static noise and unpredictable distortions. Over five minutes it unfolds into an unsettling mix of of light atmosphere and harsh, grating noise. Though opening with a raw 4×4, ‘Informer’ soon descends into the same eerie territory. The initially striking minimalism is dressed with crunchy, analogue imperfections and set against a simple key melody to hypnotic effect.

Though futuristic-sounding, this EP isn’t exactly revolutionary; seemingly owing most to Detroit sounds gone-by. Perhaps the broken kick rhythms of ‘No City Of Choice’, a highlight from the previous EP, wouldn’t have gone amiss somewhere too. But that said, it’s quality, well-executed music regardless, and Call Super looks sure to become a real gem in Houndstooth’s crown.

Black Octagons will be available on vinyl from September 9 and digitally from September 16.

Richard Akingbehin