Lee Gamble Mnestic Pressure Hyperdub

08 10

Few artists mine past styles with as much flair as Lee Gamble did in 2012 with his breakthrough album Diversions 1994-1996. His distillation of classic jungle samples into a dense, decidedly digital terrain was celebrated as a conceptual and sonic triumph. Gamble has since proven himself to be at the vanguard of genuinely futuristic music, both as an artist and as head of the ever-fascinating UIQ Records. Now he debuts on Hyperdub with an album that reaches beyond his hauntological past to create a more immediate personal expression.

Mnestic Pressure is a wonderfully dualistic listen, rejecting a linear narrative path in favour of scattershot ideas that leap gleefully between tones, timbres and tempos. You might have a handle on the close quarters of metallic percussion flex-out Swerva, only for the track to disassemble into a pool of hi-res synth meanderings. If this sounds like hard work, herein lies the duality – it actually isn’t.

For every ounce of avant-garde thrown about the place, Gamble’s deft touch and playful bouquet of ideas goes down surprisingly easy. As with his past endeavours, on Mnestic Pressure he proves that the future of experimental music doesn’t have to be difficult – for the listener at least. The sublime Ghost holds back his prior abstractions of jungle in favour of something bordering on a straight up roller, and it’s nothing short of spectacular.

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