Lee Gamble - KOCH
Techno musician's new record is most diverse and tub-thumping to date
Drifting ever so slightly from the deconstructionist jungle leanings found on Lee Gamble’s previous and critically lauded PAN releases Dutch Tvashar Plumes and Diversions 1994–1996 back in 2012, KOCH is a slightly different type of mutant. There’s still the same sense of buried and organic space found lurking underneath the 4x4 techno punchiness of ‘Motor System’. From the start of this 75+ mins release Gamble’s immersed himself in a cloak of digital warmth and hiss similar to that of Wolfgang Voigt’s GAS project, amongst other Kompakt/Koln contemporaries. The channelling rhythms on ‘Oneiric Contur’ are practically a sound-design student’s wet dream – a subtle bridging of dance and minimal acoustics which almost strays into an experiment at times, but KOCH’s yin and yanging allows those moments to be fleeting. The dark, mid-tempo techno of ‘Head Model’ instantly disrupts the chin stroking, flowing in like a straight-up darkened Hyperdub banger, then yo-yoing back into a clubby playfulness on the follow-up track ‘HMix’ and then later on with ‘Jove Layup’.
‘Voxel City Spirals’ hedges all bets and stands out as one of Gamble’s finest and most jarring compositions, a distillation of processes with just enough tempo and tweaked wonkiness to tick all boxes presented. What’s both tricky and fascinating about Lee’s work is the amount of personality and variety hidden within its submerged textures, there’s a heightened sense of awareness of something proficiently highbrow but with enough space to meander at its own pace and tangent – a beautifully un-academic quality, presented with clinical accuracy. With a good number of dancefloor cuts, KOCH will definitely appeal to the more introspective techno heads out there, but it’s the moodier and dissonant pieces which give the long-player a balance which many of his contemporaries tend to overlook in their own work. Despite its slightly longer than necessary playing time; this is Gamble’s most diverse yet tub-thumping release to date.