January is an odd month. On the one hand, it can be full of hope, expectancy, even excitement for the year ahead. A chance to draw a line under the previous year and make a new start. But it can often begin with a sore head and a feeling of it being just another year - one day rolling into the next, trepidation on the horizon.
It’s into this weird landscape the latest one from Antinote conveniently drops. Specialising in the off kilter side of the dance, the label has consistently challenged the listener around what is possible with electronic music. For the uninitiated, check 2022’s ‘10 Years Of Loving Notes’ for a retrospective of what they’re about.
Their new one from Shelter, the cryptically named ‘ACID M:)DES’, continues in that vein. Five spaced out electric ragas, taking the mind, body and soul up, down and around. It's a tribute to the 1983 'Ten Ragas to the Disco Beat' by the late Charanjit Singh. A release that took the sound of the 808 and 303 and melded it with classical Indian music to create something altogether new.
The five tracks here are a fitting tribute to that record 40 years on. Creating trance-like states, equal parts bliss and uncertainty. Beginning with ‘IN_C 01’, a track that soars and floats across its length with hypnotic ease. ‘IN_C 02’ is more driving in its flow, and wouldn’t be out of place in peak time. Its acid touches whirling into a lysergic daze. ‘IN_C 03’ drops the tempo and amps up the mysticism while maintaining the energy with its more off beat drum break. Three sides of the same coin?
With ‘IN_D 01’ and ‘IN_D 02’, Shelter versions ‘IN_C 01’, creating subtly transformed variations on the earlier track, equally alluring in their own ways. This is music that can burrow its way into the subconscious state of mind, uplifting and hypnotic in its simplicity. So maybe on some level this release can ease that negative January feeling. A sound track to allow the mind to centre. Closing off the noise to provide focus for the journey ahead. Stepping forward into an unknown that is best tackled through a surrender to fate and all that brings.
Available now via Antinote's Bandcamp.