New split 12" offers a glimpse into the musical minds of two distinctive artists, K. Leimer and Like a Villain.
This split 12" is the first in a new series to be released by relative newcomers, First Terrace. Formed in 2016, the label started as a way for Alex Ives and Joe Summers to showcase some of the artists they regularly feature on their popular show on Radar Radio. The idea behind these split releases is to offer a glimpse into the musical minds of two unique artists while inviting the listener to reflect on the correlations and to delight in the contrasts in their music.
K. Leimer / Like a Villain
Release date: 10 Nov 2017
The first side features a more experienced and established artist in the form of avant-garde, experimental artist Kerry Leimer, who produced a series of groundbreaking releases during the mid- to late '70s and '80s. Opening track "Chance Favours Patterns" opens with sounds that echo the peel of bells as he interweaves sprinklings of pianos and what sounds like snippets of overheard Japanese conversations. As expected, the appropriately titled "The Melancholy of Departure (1916)" is a more mournful piece with the slow hum of cello that gradually becomes more emphatic before disintegrating as Leimer pinches and clips the sound. It's a gorgeous experimental electronic piece that Leimer never gives the chance to settle.
The submerged bleeps and blips of "Noise Coiled Sleep" give way to a more urgent, tinny techno beat with synth chords that sweep and pan like searchlights. "Small Collected Enclosures" features soaring strings and the emotional ebb and flow of piano chords that dart in and out of the mix. Listening to the first side of the EP is a wholly atemporal experience with each track feeling dislocated from any sense of place or time.
The second side sees Like a Villain, AKA Holland Andrews, contributing the epic "Overcoming Emotional Trauma and Finding Your Inner Light Vol. II". It's a hauntingly delicate, ambient track imbued with a real cinematic quality, heightened by the ethereal vocals and manicured synths that steadily swell over its almost 20-minute run time. For two-thirds of it, it becomes a wholly immersive almost transcendental experience. Without warning, the atmosphere becomes more coarse and discordant as the track fractures and the vocals become more skewed. The way in which Andrews claws and digs at something so beautiful is an arresting and bold move akin to someone taking a blade to a landscape painting.
Overall, First Terrace has succeeded in their aim of presenting two artists with distinctive musical voices and allowing the listener to identify the similarities and contradictions in their approach. It is a fascinating concept which serves to whet the appetite for future additions to the series.