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F8stercare Vs. †‡† (RITUALZ) Split LP

Maria Turauskis


September 5th 2011 is the scheduled date for a spilt LP featuring the newest material from two of dance music’s most innovative, curious and challenging acts – F8stercare and †‡† (pronounced RITUALZ). This new joint release from hip east London indie label Robot Elephant Records features five tracks from F8stercare and four tracks from †‡† (RITUALZ), with some re-mixes of each others work thrown in for good measure.

F8stercare is the synonym for Brooklyn born Marc Jason, a reference to a renowned track by Burial. F8stercare has been producing music since 2007, and has had a wave of great press from the likes of Dazed & Confused, i:D and Word. F8stercare’s music fuses dark-wave, witch-house, dance, industrial and crunk, with lyrics featuring discussions on dark matters such as violence and suicide. Unsurprising then, there is a cold, unnerving vibe to F8stercare’s tracks throughout his side of the LP. There is an urgency in both his musical and vocal delivery with is rather overwhelming at times. Tracks such as Numb are a nervous cacophony of undulating, indefinite, surging aggression, whilst others are more beat heavy, with elements of hip-hop sampling amongst a wash of synth-string swirls.

F8stercare’s half of the spilt is fairly sample-based, which introduces some interesting quirky sound manipulation; sounds which are sometimes cool and even funny, sometimes unnerving and disturbing. The vibe here is also very “urban” – it feels like music expressing the angst, aggression, paranoia and fear of a mass of people, things and energy.

Transversely, †‡† (RITUALZ)’s side of the LP is cold, eerie and sombre. This reclusive man from Mexico here combines dance, shoegaze, hip-hop and drone with post-industrial ambience. His work has a much thicker, saturated sound, and in comparison to F8stercare has much less audible dynamics. It has a vague, more atmospheric feel, more trancey, insistent, ethereal and repetitive. Tracks such as King have definite elements of shoegaze indie, especially within the production of a rare vocal appearance, thick with effects and distant, with almost indiscernible lyrics.

Both these artists very much create intelligent dance music  – there is a cohesion within the general feel of the both their musics that is cold, distant and detached. When listening to this album there is a feeling that both artists are like sonic chemists, balancing the sounds involved in their individual tracks precisely. There are a lot of negative elements at play throughout the recording, and it certainly does not make of an easy listen, but it is an interesting record, displaying some exciting new endeavours into electronica.