Ian McDonnell’s Eomac project turns in an impressive set of mind-bending electronica for Will Bankhead’s The Trilogy Tapes label. As one half of Lakker, along with Darah Smith, the duo have churned out some of the most interesting and expertly produced Electronic music of recent years, broadly residing under the all encompassing banner of Techno while subverting most of the genre’s tropes. McDonnell’s Eomac project further pushes the brief, taking the experimentalism of Lakker to new and precarious territory.
Most of this record sounds like it is falling apart at the seams. The opener ‘Hither Pappy’, is a distorted jumble of classic drum machine sounds driven to the maximum. The synth wiggles its way around the clattering drums to expert effect, with child like screams punctuating the mix at random. This seems a challenging new sound for the normally measured sound of the label. This sounds like it would be at home on Rephlex at the tale end of the nineties, in all the right ways.
‘Husk’ is a chugging piece of distorted techno, with drones a plenty. This is less inviting, it remains the wrong side of restrained compared to the other offerings available. ‘Tunnel’ on the other hand takes the four-to-the-floor template of ‘Husk’ and adds all the cacophonous sound qualities of ‘Hither Pappy’. The distorted synth line that chugs its way through the track is nothing short of terrifying, making Truss’s MPIA3 project about as subdued as Perry Como. As all the sounds appear to come to a head at the three minute mark, Mcdonnell treats us to yet more percussive insanity. As the track completely breaks down around the five minute mark the listener is given an unsettling sense of catharsis only to be plunged straight back into the throb. This is perhaps it’s only failing, tracks as mad as this should perhaps be shorter and therefore sweeter – although sweet is certainly not the point.
After all the mad filth on this record, Eomac provides a surprisingly delicate palate cleanser to finish. ‘I Love You I Miss You’ is a vocal driven textural piece of music, perhaps a mature version of much of the ‘post-dubstep’ diaspora we heard a while back. It is sublime; as beautiful as it is unsettling; sad and captivating. It ‘s an inspired closing track and says as much about the talent of Eomac as it does about the curating capability of Will Bankhead.
This is a startling record, one which bends the mind and ears. Eomac is a prestigious talent, and I’m certainly not the only one who hopes to see him, along with his partner in crime as Lakker to produce a more substantial full length project. This EP shows the dexterity of the producer and a longer format would only further this. The discovery of a talent like this is rare, something we should certainly savour.
The ‘Hither, Pappy’ EP will be available soon on vinyl format only