Sunday, April 17, 2016

Jeff Rushin “Decline Into” (Wall Music)


Amsterdam producer and ON impresario Jeff Rushin manages to top even his (luscious) “Red Velvet” and (sumptuous) Mote Evolver EPs with this breathtaking, clear vinyl single on Berlin’s Wall Music. ”Decline Into Space” launches the love parade @ the statutory 128 with a swooning tranche of steady minimalism, its beautifully austere, crepuscular cadences combining the steady pulse of Rushin’s “6” contribution, “Tusk” with the understated, sibiliant genius of Michael Schwarz’s “She Doesn’t Ask For”. Which was recently, as you may recall, another somewhat world-beating 12” on Wall Music.

It thus seems pretty self-evident that “Space” is going to be unmatchable, but hold your horses, because it’s followed by the similarly sleek construct of “Decline Into Shadows” which is… wow… even better. Fuller and more dancefloor-honed, it triggers (a) paroxysms of delight in your humble narrator and (b) the need for to him to lie down in a dark room to recover.

In that room we briefly speculate as to what might come next – “Decline Into Winter” would be good, or maybe “Decline Into the Vanarama Conference”? – but when we do get round to braving the light again and reuniting an eager stylus needle with these transparent grooves, the answer is “Decline Into Chaos”, a second variation on the lead track which picks up seamlessly where we left off, still gently drilling the EP’s rhythmic patterns into our skull, but takes the tempo down just a notch, at 126. The mood is darker, more malign, with a prowlingly-low, no, crawlingly-low bassline offset by rattling, plangent synth chimes. The 12” concludes with a “Chaos” redux, this time by Glasgow's finest, Edit Select, that nicely ramps up and amps up the industrial elements of the original.

Whenever we return to asking ourselves why we started this fanzine, and all the stories we wanted to tell in our ever-desultory prose, well it was an attempt… um, well it was all about… no, *is* all about, conveying that despite the vagaries of age and the various compromises that life throws at us, that new EXCITEMENTS are ever-possible, & that this is the surging JOY of the format, as we’ve been saying since roughly the Antediluvian period – as we wrote, gosh, 9 years ago, but it seems like yesterday...

"singles must be kept alive, in any way possible. for both band and for fan (and we "write" always as fans), they are the flag that a 3 minute pop song, or an 8 minute techno 12", or a hip-hop white label or a grime download or whatever is intended to transcend the wadeable sludge of the 40-minute album or the 80-minute mixtape or the 400-minute audiophile wet dream that is the box set and to be instead a perfect or imperfect statement of intent, of the desire of the moment, of one-off communication, of trying to distil the ESSENCE OF BAND into a solitary take"

... oh, and we know now it’s protean, so even when that single isn’t a fizzing, crashing flexidisc, but instead unfolds in four movements over 24 unmissable minutes like this one, it's still how the artist has chosen to make his or her STATEMENT of their *now*, and can still transmit an unbridled ecstasy that tingles like… like the moment of promotion back to the league, or the spring breeze swishing baptismally-refreshing rain across Parliament Hill, or this falling cherry blossom in Bow Churchyard… all springs from the fact that even in 2016 a pizza-sized slice of vinyl can transmit pinpricks of electricity to every pore in a way that defies the meretricious, unmagical mundanity of day-to-day life. ELEVATE.

Sorry to gush so, but we wanted to end this brief burst of posting activity on a high, and as you can see (especially from the last three or four posts), we weren’t disappointed. We don’t say these things lightly, but “Decline Into” - just like “She Doesn’t Ask For” – is a potential all-time classic.

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