PopMatters is moving to WordPress. We will publish a few essays daily while we develop the new site. We hope the beta will be up sometime late next week.
Music

Misty Conditions: D'Zzzz

Experience the dark and rumbling corners of today's innovative sounds from Planet Mu.


Misty Conditions

D'Zzzz

Label: Planet Mu
US Release Date: 2013-10-15
UK Release Date: Import
Amazon
iTunes

Misty Conditions almost fooled me. Coming off rusty, dusty and raw from the very first track, at first I pictured the dark and dank warehouses of Chicago, where the street dance, known as footwork, was born. And it shouldn't be a surprise for me to mistaken this output to be by some newly discovered DJ by Mike Paradinas himself. Some time around 2010, the founder of this electronic music label, who is also known to the scene by his moniker as µ-Ziq, began signing and releasing acts producing ghetto house, juke, and footwork. The initial rolling bass EPs of grime, UK garage and dubstep somehow evolved into the twitching, sample triggered beats of this underground genre, and, I believe, it was DJ Rashad who first propelled this style from local Chicago mix tapes into the living rooms of the label followers, again, thanks to Paradinas, and of course, Planet Mu.

Many releases followed. Many imitators tried and failed. Some became incredibly successful, taking the genre from the hands of true amateurs into the decked out studios. Among the latter, Machinedrum, Boxcutter and Ital Tek are among the most victorious, delivering staggering output which is still resonating after many years. So again, you shouldn't be surprised that at first I felt mislead by the talent behind Misty Conditions. The sound is purposely distorted, mangled and destroyed to appear as if it was dragged through dirt and filth, or, as the cover leads one to believe, stumped upon by the weight of an elephant. But listening closely I immediately identify some impeccable production values, pristine atmospherics and deliberate attention to the full frequency spectrum. And all of this comes from experience. And of course, I wasn't wrong.

Misty Conditions is a new group consisting of Henry Collins and Richard Wilson. The former is definitely not a newbie. Recording on Planet Mu since 2004 under his Shitmat alias (plus a release as Kyler), Collins has been responsible for some of the most punishing breakcore, hardcore, and drill'n'bass, Throwing in some bits of ragga, jungle and breakbeat, Shitmat's sound is definitely a favorite among his contemporaries such as Cardopusher, Bong-Ra, Doormouse and Venetian Snares. The latter, Richard Wilson, previously released albums under his Burnkane and Beatwife monikers. This project produced acid techno, IDM, and experimental d'n'b tracks which were released by Planet Mu, Hyperboloid, and Love Love Records. Meeting for the first time together, the two "jammed for a few days non-stop", which I suppose, culminated into the gift that has dropped those D'Zzzz.

Shuffling beats, saturated with a barrage of processed 808 samples, vinyl crackle and deep rumbling bass, rip through the rhythms ranging from four-to-the-floor pounding kicks, trap and even a bit of crunky electro. With the D'Zzzz Misty Conditions rolls over your speakers like a muddy tank, crushing the bits, stomping the toms, and burning the reds of your level meters. But listen closely, and there are intricate electronica elements, from perfectly reverbed minor chords, to glitchy percussion and textural pads. This particular skill is especially prevalent in a few dark ambient vignettes sprinkled with some acid, appearing on the album.

What sets aside the presumed lo-fi aesthetic of sound is the total confidence behind each meticulously crafted atmosphere. Clearly distinct from their past individual output, Collins and Wilson create a unique kaleidoscope of styles, which, although at times sounds sporadic, is amazingly coherent as a whole - enough for me to recall single tracks even when I'm not listening to their music. Misty Conditions falls into that category of pioneers which I spoke of so highly above in this writeup. It is the latter post-production treatments that set this effort apart from newcomers, copycats and amateurs. Highly recommended!

8

Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology and hosting provider that we have less than a month, until November 6, to move PopMatters off their service or we will be shut down. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to save the site.


Music

Books

Film

Recent
Music

Laura Veirs Talks to Herself on 'My Echo'

The thematic connections between these 10 Laura Veirs songs and our current situation are somewhat coincidental, or maybe just the result of kismet or karmic or something in the zeitgeist.

Film

15 Classic Horror Films That Just Won't Die

Those lucky enough to be warped by these 15 classic horror films, now available on Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection and Kino Lorber, never got over them.

Music

Sixteen Years Later Wayne Payne Follows Up His Debut

Waylon Payne details a journey from addiction to redemption on Blue Eyes, The Harlot, The Queer, The Pusher & Me, his first album since his 2004 debut.

Music

Every Song on the Phoenix Foundation's 'Friend Ship' Is a Stand-Out

Friend Ship is the Phoenix Foundation's most personal work and also their most engaging since their 2010 classic, Buffalo.

Music

Kevin Morby Gets Back to Basics on 'Sundowner'

On Sundowner, Kevin Morby sings of valleys, broken stars, pale nights, and the midwestern American sun. Most of the time, he's alone with his guitar and a haunting mellotron.

Music

Lydia Loveless Creates Her Most Personal Album with 'Daughter'

Given the turmoil of the era, you might expect Lydia Loveless to lean into the anger, amplifying the electric guitar side of her cowpunk. Instead, she created a personal record with a full range of moods, still full of her typical wit.

Music

Flowers for Hermes: An Interview with Performing Activist André De Shields

From creating the title role in The Wiz to winning an Emmy for Ain't Misbehavin', André De Shields reflects on his roles in more than four decades of iconic musicals, including the GRAMMY and Tony Award-winning Hadestown.

Film

The 13 Greatest Horror Directors of All Time

In honor of Halloween, here are 13 fascinating fright mavens who've made scary movies that much more meaningful.

Music

British Jazz and Soul Artists Interpret the Classics on '​Blue Note Re:imagined'

Blue Note Re:imagined provides an entrance for new audiences to hear what's going on in British jazz today as well as to go back to the past and enjoy old glories.

Film

Bill Murray and Rashida Jones Add Another Shot to 'On the Rocks'

Sofia Coppola's domestic malaise comedy On the Rocks doesn't drown in its sorrows -- it simply pours another round, to which we raise our glass.

Music

​Patrick Cowley Remade Funk and Disco on 'Some Funkettes'

Patrick Cowley's Some Funkettes sports instrumental renditions from between 1975-1977 of songs previously made popular by Donna Summer, Herbie Hancock, the Temptations, and others.

Music

The Top 10 Definitive Breakup Albums

When you feel bombarded with overpriced consumerism disguised as love, here are ten albums that look at love's hangover.

Music

Dustin Laurenzi's Natural Language Digs Deep Into the Jazz Quartet Format with 'A Time and a Place'

Restless tenor saxophonist Dustin Laurenzi runs his four-piece combo through some thrilling jazz excursions on a fascinating new album, A Time and a Place.

Television

How 'Watchmen' and 'The Boys' Deconstruct American Fascism

Superhero media has a history of critiquing the dark side of power, hero worship, and vigilantism, but none have done so as radically as Watchmen and The Boys.

Music

Floodlights' 'From a View' Is Classicist Antipodal Indie Guitar Pop

Aussie indie rockers, Floodlights' debut From a View is a very cleanly, crisply-produced and mixed collection of shambolic, do-it-yourself indie guitar music.

Music

CF Watkins Embraces a Cool, Sophisticated Twang on 'Babygirl'

CF Watkins has pulled off the unique trick of creating an album that is imbued with the warmth of the American South as well as the urban sophistication of New York.

Music

Helena Deland Suggests Imagination Is More Rewarding Than Reality on 'Something New'

Canadian singer-songwriter Helena Deland's first full-length release Someone New reveals her considerable creative talents.

Music

While the Sun Shines: An Interview with Composer Joe Wong

Joe Wong, the composer behind Netflix's Russian Doll and Master of None, articulates personal grief and grappling with artistic fulfillment into a sweeping debut album.


Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.