Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Katie Gately/Tlaotlon - Fat Cat Split Series #23

For the penultimate instalment in their Split 12" Series, Fat Cat dig out one of the most astonishing releases of 2014, bringing together LA-based sound artiste Katie Gately and antipodean electronic manipulator Tlaotlon in an intoxicating marriage of musical ideas.  ‘Marriage’ in its most idealistic sense is probably not the right word, but when applied to the kind of relationship where you smash plates over each other’s heads before generating an impassioned and very loud beast with two backs, it seems entirely fitting.

Last year, Katie wowed us all with her extraordinary ‘Pipes’ release on Blue Tapes', which Dandeilon Radio listeners voted into the top twenty of last year’s festive fifty.  Gately's broad appeal is both reassuring and telling: however challenging her music, it’s easy to find yourself captivated, drawn in and submerged into her blissful soundscapes.  It’s what makes her a unique artist – she can absorb you effortlessly while leaving you gasping at the audacity of it at pretty much the same time.

She’s on similarly fine form here.  ‘Pivot’, like its illustrious predecessor, doesn’t so much give you a tune to listen to as take you on a whole musical journey.  Gately’s tunes can be hummed in the bath (I’ve done it) but they offer so much more: this is music to be immersed in, to surrender to and, if the opportunity presents itself, to build your entire day around.

Tlaotlon offer music of a similar substance but something different all together.  This is electronic music of stunningly detailed intensity, offering rhythms that punish and pulsate in roughly equal measure, fragmented stabs of caustic sounds as opposed to Gately’s bewitchingly weird sonic manipulation.

What they both have is that remarkable awareness of how the world can be simultaneously a very dark and a very beautiful place, together with the rich ability to express this in sound.   It demands to be heard.  I'll be playing the Gately track in my November Dandelion Radio show, which will be streaming from Saturday, and you can cop the rest of it by getting a copy of the release in all its 12” glory or as a download here

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