Diskotopia continues the momentum of 2019 with a bracing and weighty single from Memotone; the Bristol-based multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer William Yates. Previously releasing music on labels such as Black Acre, Bedouin and Project Mooncircle, Memotone performs live with a full hardware-based setup and also records under different aliases such as Halfnelson. For his debut on Diskotopia, Memotone serves up two broken dubwise abstractions that glisten brilliantly like gemstones mined from the label’s existing subconscious. Yates notes that “organic growth” was a driving force in the creation of these two pieces, and the twisting nodes of the venation storytelling unfurl like entwined vines and branches.
Leading off with ‘Luaka,’ Memotone melds modern and classical instruments together in a sultry Fourth World fusion that takes its cues equally from Tarkovsky cinema as it does from Asian minimalist composition. Synthetic atmospherics, submerged spring-reverb percussion, no-wave bass and funk clavichord playfully interweave, whilst the textures and timbres of clarinet and guzheng create lingering drones and droplets, like a moisture left hanging in the air. The result feels like an illusory Kitaro-inspired Jon Hassell, Labradford and Dabyre collaborative portrait of a Sino-tropical known unknown. A mesmerizing and welcome seven-minute-thirty-four-second deliverance from our collective material existence.
Drawing inspiration from classic 60s and 70s Jamaican productions, ‘Sidewise Dub’ is a prime demonstration of how Memotone can utilize his mixing desk as an instrument to forge a shimmering chamber of soundsystem microstudy. Fractal dub chords ricochet while modulated hi-hats ping like the propellers of lost airships coasting through the Bermuda Triangle; all the while awash with undulating pads and heaving sub bass. Forlorn synth melodies chart a path through these torrential sonics that are certain to leave residue long after dissipation.