Scorb – Ipso Fvcto (Trick Music)

Posted in Reviews 2007 by - December 03, 2007

Scorb. So full of win.

There you are, sitting comfortably looking back at the year’s releases and thinking you’ve pretty much got a handle on the year in review. Then, quite without warning, the world throws you a golden apple in the shape of this staggeringly good album.

Little is known of Scorb. His eponymous 2003 debut still stands up today and is one I would urge you to check out if you haven’t already (assuming you can find it, that is.) After a steady trickle of decent releases on compilations, Ipso Fvcto is the artist album with which he makes his name on electronic music.

It’s good. Very good. Imagine receiving oral when the phone rings. You answer the phone and it’s the tax office, who due to an administrative error owe you several million quid. And all of this happening while England win the World Cup. (Residents of any country other than Portugal may feel free to substitute “England” with their own country in the last sentence.) Ipso Fvcto is better than all that.

You will be bowled over by this. Sol Invictus is hands down one of the most beautiful tracks of the year; moody yet fluid, the production is pixel-perfect and boils down to the sort of sound that anyone with an interest in electronic music is going to appreciate. Yes, there are melodies, and they are wonderful – but to focus on that aspect detracts from the complexity of what’s going on here. Sol Invictus is one of those very special tracks that, by the last run, has you feeling like you’re dancing about three feet off the ground; think Hallucinogen’s Shamanix, except at a more pleasant BPM.

And from here, things just get better. Yodyssey has one foot on Timecode/Artifakt land, but keeps its foot off the accelerator just how you want it to. By the time the soaring, cascading 303 takes centre stage, you’re utterly gagging for more… This is how music should be folks. Every now and then I make reference to how artists should learn to ease back a bit and let the music speak for itself, instead of have them pushing it along to where they want to go. This is what I was getting at all this time.

Rave From The Grave is in that shuffled, quantized 4/3 or whatever the hell it is. You know what I mean. Just when we thought we’d had enough of tracks like this, Scorb creates a sort of anti-anthem, the bizarre Gamma Goblins. Tasty, with more changes than a Kylie stage show. Meanwhile Wobbly Matter is frenetic, pacey doof with depth.

Next up is something I’ve always wanted to hear more of: psy producers turning their hand to drum n’ bass. P2P is, as they probably say in jungle clubs, fucking awesome. It reminds me of Wormhole-era Optical: pure digital stuff that creates a shifting, ever-changing organic groove. Once again you’re free to marvel at the depth and characterisation that Scorb gives to his music, or you can just dance about and gradually lose track of where you put your drink.

Pyrotechno is a succulent cut of dark psychedelia with a dazzlingly hypnotic midsection. You’re sucked right into this one until you’re rendered completely powerless by this huge, canopy-like midrange line that whips you up in the air before an array of squishy gives you something to really dance home about. Tower Of Klorox is a less-imaginative variation on the same theme.

I mean… Shit. Am I managing to communicate anything to you? Just listening, for the tenth time, to the way the intro to Angleterror rubs in from out of nowhere. This is fucking genius, and yes I’m well aware of how over-used and misappropriated that word usually is. It really is streets ahead of everything else out there. We’re listening to evolution happening right before our ears, and fuck me does evolution sound good.

I know this is a new paragraph, but I’m still talking about the same track. Angleterror. I want to have its babies so much that I’ve opened up a fake Facebook in the name of one of its former schoolfriends to see if I can stalk it effectively enough to work out where it lives. Then I’m going to move into the flat next door and drill holes from bathroom to bathroom so I can perv on it with foaming cock in hand, until my cover gets blown by researchers working on a BBC documentary about the privacy concerns opened up by social networking sites such as Facebook.

Are you still there? It really doesn’t matter. My life has been enriched so much by this CD that I’ve realised I don’t need you cynical bastards anymore. I’m never going to another party again. Never writing another review again. Never doing anything again.

Hang on though, scratch all that, the next track’s decent too. Breaksy. It’s the title track, Ipso Fvcto. Now Scorb decides to take on that whole psy/breaks crossover… and roger me backwards with all music that has ever preceded this release, he’s done it bloody well. Cliché free, organic, individual, and sounding like it’s come down from space.

Is Afrika Bambaata still alive, does anyone know? He really should hear this record. Ipso Fvcto pisses all over Pet Sounds, pisses all over Blonde On Blonde, and pisses and shits over anything Kraftwerk ever did. It’s also so much better than anything Miles Davis or John Coltrane ever did that I’ve amended their respective Wikipedia pages accordingly.

The album is still going, and it’s still good. Bear in mind that by this stage we’d normally expect to run out of things to say, but there’s still so much going on. The slomo funktardation of Aquiscence is so glorious it makes me draft wildly sweeping statements of superlativity such as “this record spins at thirty-three Copernican revolutions per minute.”

Even the last track Supraliminal, that ambient/beatless one at the end usually reserved for sample-disc-laden boring tracks with vocals by some bird the artist was trying to shag, is interesting. It ends in a way that makes the album’s intro track Pareidolia sound even more appealing – which is just as well, because as soon as you’ve played this through, you’re going to want to listen to it all over again.

I feel as though the last seven years of my reviewing music has all been preparation for this. It may be The Last Great Psychedelic Trance Album. The universe is probably going to fold in on itself and we’re all going to die, but who cares.

The fact that there exists somebody on this planet who is capable of making such wonderful, varied, warm, personal, intimate, and kickin’ music reaffirms my faith in Everything. If all artists would spend as much time, energy and attention when making music, the world would be a better place.

If you are a producer, listen to this. Realise you are not and can never be this good. Then give up writing music.

If you are a collector, listen to this. Realise that this is the album you’ve been waiting for since Chi-AD disappeared. Then throw out your old Chi-AD records.

I really don’t know what else to say, except that this really is as good as I’m claiming it is. Well, possibly barring the statements about Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Bob Dylan and The Beach Boys.

To cut through all the shite I’ve spurted above, Ipso Fvcto is a drippingly good album. The depth, the movement, the escalation, and the sheer balls-out skill behind it all make it one of the only albums I can honestly look you in the eye and describe as Essential. 

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