Two brilliant new Shackletons, with triumphant remixes by T++ and Baron Mordant ! This is dope as hell record!!!! It looks perfect too. HJ's come with it! TIP!In Fireworks, the detonations are internalized, swallowed like the Establishment tongue at the start: the mood is malevolent, not celebratory. Synth shrapnel criss-crosses a stately, choral progression, before ticking hi-hats and plate-shifting bass count-down the percussion pressure-drop. Galloping kicks and clopping tabla tussle with each other, in and out of alignment: the kind of ghosted Middle Eastern instrumentation introduced by the Skull Disco classic Hamas Rule, seeping through. Soundsystem psychodrama in inimitable Shackleton style.
For T++, Shackleton's music seems a perfect foil, its fleshy, ultra-vivid drum constructions ripe for demolition and rebuild; and sure enough this mix enacts a kind of rhythmic necromancy, its brittle, emaciated breakbeats shunting forward nastily, ravenously. (Incidentally, perhaps, there is a titular invocation of a much earlier T++ incarnation, buried in the late-90s: the Aussen Vor EP, by Dynamo.)
Likewise, Undeadman raises Deadman. Midi signals from the original were sent to synths; sounds and effects were recorded separately, and rearranged; new ideas came through. The sound-world is enriched, more three-dimensional; the arrangement is looser, more spry, with neat additions and elaborations, notably an impish minor-key piano flourish. Ravishing in its own right, Undeadman is a fascinating indication of where Shackleton's work may go next.
Mordant Music ï¿½ whose eponymous label first introduced Shackleton ï¿½ re-fashions it into a bona fide epic. The side evolves from scouring, bad-trip kosmische into an out-and-out dance wrecker, with a massive punky-reggae-party bassline astride walls of saw-toothed synth noise.
Designed by Will Bankhead, the sleeve dazzlingly layers different Zeke Clough artworks, in spot UV varnish.