Monday, 18 February 2013

Balam Acab - Slopped & Wetted

You may be wandering what Balam Acab (real name Alec Koone) has been up to in the last few years since his debut album Wander / Wonder. I'm not quite sure myself to be honest, this is an extraordinary errrr - artist. Acab has been releasing freebies on his Soundcloud for the past year. A joke track called "Ass Pop", several remixes, Club Water Discus - a five track EP of some sort for valentine's day, The Rape After - a two trap experimental piece without any water, VHS SHV - more of the same, and now Slopped & Wetted, a three track compilation of... I don't even, I can't even...

I actually saw Balam Acab live in New York City, supporting Mogwai. His sounds are other-worldly, often labelled chillwave and more recently a step towards a denser electronic sound. Which begs the question: what the hell is he doing? This three track EP is awful. It hurts me to call an artist I cherish so dearly awful, because Acab's debut album was one of the best 2011 had to offer. I'm sure this is just an experimental period between albums, with Acab releasing these freebies, because they are worth exactly that, nothing.

The first track "Make U Drip" is like all his R&B remixes. Deep vocals, heavily effected, reverberated electronic clapping and a thick beat that's not quite a bass sound. The most annoying sound on Acab's new releases has to be the god forsaken sounds of water. I didn't mind it on Wander / Wonder, I didn't mind it when he was live, but this is taking it too far. He's over stepped the line and he has to be stopped... He's literally flooded (yes that's a shit pun for you) the track with samples of water dripping from taps. I can imagine Acab hanging around his bathroom just dancing and orchestrating how the water drips from the taps or the fosset if you want to be awkward. 

"Fighting Myself" would be a decent track if it had more ambiences and less water. It's four and a half minutes of the same old shit, with even more chopped up deep vocals and louder bloody water noises. "You Are" completes the trio of tracks, with a watered down (another one just for the fun of it) instrumental. The dripping sounds are less prominent, and the percussion is far more active than on any track. Again we hear deep vocals as opposed to the high pitched vocals that worked on Wander / Wonder. It may be possible that Acab is actually reversing his output, in a sort of tedious way to differentiate his album work from his free releases. This is more than likely, because Acab doesn't seem like the kind of guy to throw away what career he actually has performing electronic music. I'm sure his sophomore will be fantastic and he will tone down the samples of water. Otherwise you can kiss goodbye to dedicated fans expecting more than the soundtrack to Sea World.

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