Overmono — BMW Track / So U Kno

The Russell brothers, Ed and Tom, came up with a new 12’’ on their label Poly Kicks. In their solo projects, such as Tessela or Truss, Ed and Tom rather tend to record straightforward bangers while the sound of Overmono is often more subtle and reflective, it explores the recent history of electronic music, pays tribute to it and – re/deconstructs it.

The project began with the Arla series in 2016-2017 that bore strong resemblance to the music PAN and Northern Electronics were releasing at the same time – a rather detached kind of sound, the dust of rave (all that is left of its ruins where Burial used to play) and its spasmatic dance in the stroboscopic lights. The name of the Stroboscopic Artefacts label (that was in its zenith around the same time) is very characteristic: one of the few plausible options is spectral archeology. Since then, Overmono’s sound became distinctly “brighter”, although, it seems to me, there is always a slight hint of nervousness in it, even on Le Tigre / Salt Mix, the most energetic of their recent records. BMW Track / "So U Know is an homage to the sound of early Jungle and UK Garage – a choice that creates a lot of opportunities for nostalgia tripping and ghost hunting.

The first track of the release is raw jungle with a vague bass line that sometimes almost vanishes behind other musical lines. It makes one feel agitated and disoriented at the same time, as if, having taken sedatives or dissociatives, expecting to face danger that can come from anywhere. Another distinct feature of the track is the eerie synths that grow stronger throughout the piece and create a strange and even uncanny aethereal space in the second half that soon closes up, in order to leave the listener wondering about its nature.

The second track, with its pitched vocal samples will just as well make one want to dance and then – dissociate in the same aethereal areas that are more persistent here than in the first track. They are accompanied by IDM-like insertions, synth splashes that branch out of the main bass and percussion lines.

Overall, Overmono’s new release is an intriguing sonic montage/blending of styles – a true brain dance, in which there is (no)/(a) time to ponder on what will become of the rave music in the decade to come.