After a confusing morning of downloading unnecessary programs and being baffled by terms such as SQLserver and webmatrix , Grendelcakes has now successfully moved to WordPress, an exciting development as I’m sure you’ll agree. Anyway, its been a while so to get the ball rolling here’s a bunch of words about a couple of things.

Downliners Sekt – Meet The Decline

Finishing off the run of three peerless E.P’s, Meet the Decline takes on an altogether more reflective and restrained approach than its predecessors. The opener All I Can Hear Now ties a  hymnal wash to delicate guitar flourishes and light, almost breathy percussion. Although considerably more subtle and understated than anything they’ve released before it maintains their unearthly sound with carefully placed snatches of the ghostly refrains and technoid machinations that have come to signify their music marque. Despite its contrary direction its the sort of music that could only have been made by them, a delicate statement of intent that opens up an entirely new galaxy of possibilities and defies all expectations.

Rising Saudade is  deeply ingrained with their future gazing ephemera and decidedly more recognisable, but it begins with more of an introspective take on things, as though caught in a lucid dream about their path through the music scene thus far, before launching into a stuttering charge and crashing through layers of sound that shatter around it before fading into its wake. Locked Faces seems to be an expansion on the muttered and distorted phrases that littered their earlier work, giving the lead to a distant voice that carries a pervasive air of discord as it winds its way around a skeletal framework of clicks, glitches and clipped beats. Hockey Nights in Canada closes out proceedings in breathtaking form, sounding like Mount Kimbie’s Maybes being reinterpreted by Mogwai and Godspeed You Black Emperor. Dense layers of sound, lightly brushed, loose sprung snares and Ice Hockey commentary that seems to echo in from another dimension, all combining to form a devastatingly resonant cry that sounds like the sort of music you might have once heard on the periphery of a dream.

Seekae – +Dome

I’d never even heard of Seekae before catching them supporting Mount Kimbie at a White Rhino gig earlier this year, but it immediately became apparent that they were a little bit special. The set ran from crisp trickling beats in the mould of Mount Kimbie and James Blake, to yawning chasms of crackling dissonance more reminiscent of 65 Days of Static. The album +Dome stands as a fair counterpart but here the song structures and themes are far more gentle  and introspective. For the most part it unravels beautifully, avoiding dancefloor impact for jaw dropping loveliness and turning inwards onto itself to create intricate colourful patterns.

What is possibly the most impressive thing (among a whole raft of other impressive things) is the way in which the songs develop, often starting out with a jarring or staggered build that seems to be heading nowhere before suddenly unwinding into something jaw dropping and awesome. A perfect example of this being Mingus, which spends half of its duration building somewhat ambiguously until the long awaited crescendo suddenly transitions into  an immaculate rhythm of clicks, claps and vocal stabs before heavenly arpeggiations come in to power the tune to a breathtaking close. Yodal and Reset Head are other particular highlights but for entirely different reasons. The former, comprising the most  dancefloor focused joint on the album, comes from a seemingly Amon Tobin influenced hip hop slant; moving from crackles and digital detritus to chest thumping beats and serrated stabs in a matter of bars. The latter is a perfect exercise in how to unite aspects of the Dubstep fringe with the vast expanses of post rock soundscaping, and as with the aforementioned Downliners Sekt closer, provides an poignant, mournful counterpart to Mount Kimbie’s seminal Maybes.