Niaiw Ot Vile
Chris Douglas' story reads like a lesson in the development of outsider electronic music over the past 20 years. He began throwing the first ambient techno parties in San Francisco at just 16 years old, and moved to Detroit a year later to begin working with Mike Banks (Underground Resistance) and James Stinson (Drexciya). He relocated to Berlin in the early 2000s after being invited to support Autechre on their Confield tour (and perform at the now legendary Autechre-curated ATP Festival) and has since then steadily released challenging and intense records as Dalglish, O.S.T., Scald Rougish, and Seaes, all the while maintaining an elusive personal profile. He has also worked extensively in film music, having recently composed the soundtrack for Anna Eborn's film Pine Ridge, which had its world premiere at the 70th Venice Biennale. Furthermore, he is a founding member of audiovisual collective SYNKEN featuring members of Transforma. His PAN debut, dedicated to his friend, the sadly-deceased musician and Isolate Records founder Wai Cheng (Optic), is a complex and cavernous exercise in texture and rhythm, marrying the freedom and tonal breadth of electro-acoustic composition with percussive patterns disjointed to the point of collapse. It is easy to see how his work is often critically-received as emotionally challenging. There is a closeness to these compositions, and his muscular, full-spectrum passages are often counteracted with brittle and delicate detail. Unhinged and unrestrained, you will be hard pressed to find a single loop throughout the entire album, with each of the compositions mutated through vividly reverberating, clangorous landscapes. Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering, and pressed on 140 gram vinyl which itself is housed in a silk-screened PVC sleeve with artwork by Bill Kouligas and Kathryn Politis.