CD Review: Know That Music Is My Lifeblood by 1700MN
Ed Purchla, aka 1700MN, composes experimental electronic music. Don’t be put off by that tag. His music isn’t conventional or mainstream, that’s for sure, but it’s often thought-provoking, playful, witty and fun.
I’m already familiar with this artist’s work; see my previous review for “Le Cerveau“. All the trademarks of his music are on “Know That Music Is My Lifeblood” – distorted electronic sounds, sampling, loops, beeps, snatches of melody and spoken parts – time travelling back to soundtracks for 1980’s computer games too.
Read the titles for the ten tracks carefully; sometimes, they spell out actual words, “damidgdguds” (damaged goods) and “trayluvbredkrums” (trail of bread crumbs) being obvious examples. As for the cover artwork, Purchla is also a digital abstract artist, and his covers are always expressive.
For me, the best portal to it all is the percussive rhythms, particularly on “hal oh-d tha phukk owt” and “N2THASUHN”. Some tracks are more cohesive than others, with threads being pulled tighter together, despite the many tangents. One such is the already released single, “ahb seshun”, which actually makes you want to dance when you can find the rhythm to jump into the frenzy.
With its otherworld quality and singular use of sampling, I find “hissy phyt” the most imaginative, and its plaintive piano is like a gentle breeze in the hurricane.
Industrial, futuristic or retro, this music can be feverish, edgy, and nicely demented, like a video arcade in Bedlam. Sometimes, it feels like your brain is being assaulted, but calm enters the fray. 1700MN conducts the storm and brings order to the chaos.
I hope Purchla’s next project develops and goes into new territory; it would be a shame for him to just repeat himself. I’ve a feeling we’ve merely glimpsed inside a deep volcano.
This latest release can be accessed on Beatport, with other stores to follow.