Finding new sounds in our pulsing electronics means refining our working techniques isn’t just a technical matter. It’s a musical one.
King Britt, who has been granted many successful musical incarnations over the years, set off on just such a quest under his new identity Fhloston Paradigm. In a much-watched debut EP for brilliant UK imprint Hyperdub, the Philadelphia artist produces an out-of-this-world, cinematic sonic journey. King is perhaps best known as a name in house music; here, the style is experimental, but the groove rolls behind each track, sequencers softly shuffling along in a way that makes them seem caught in a slow, trance-like dance. Carefully-curated classic synthesizers gather into shared patterns of sound; King worked loosely with rhythm by letting these instruments play freely together, not slaved by MIDI, then crafted and polished the track in the more pristine digital world of the computer.
The “analog” business of these tracks is something of a hook for people describing the album, but that is of course a means to an end. Chaining together instruments lets polyrhythms emerge almost organically like blossoms, as King push their various timbres into undiscovered voices, whether a whisper or a growl. (We’ll have a separate video showing his equipment chain, which I think illustrates this more clearly, but here, let’s just listen.)
I’ve chosen the evocative “Liloos Seduction,” which Hyperdub is generously letting CDM stream. A lazy, drifting journey into exotic synthesized lands, it shows off the fuzzy edges of that gear’s timbres. But I’ll shut up and let you listen.
The EP is three tracks – two long, one short – but covers enough ground that it feels like a meal more than a morsel.
Official release page (and purchase in GBP): King Britt: Presents Fhloston Paradigm (HDB060) [Hyperdub]
Check it out on King’s site:King Britt x Hyperdub x Fhloston Paradigm [kingbritt.com]
Also on Bleep, where you can grab lossless versions for download: King Britt Presents Fhloston Paradigm EP Hyperdub [Bleep.com]
Hyperdub sent over this PR description, and it’s so nicely put-together that I think it also deserves a place. (I love when labels promotional materials are musically insightful and not just a jargon-laden sales pitch.)
HDB060 King Britt presents Fhloston Paradigm March 26th
Hyperdub start the year of single releases off with a brilliant, and subtle curveball courtesy of Philly’s finest; King Britt in his new guise as Fhloston Paradigm.
Built from drum machines, analog keyboards and 303’s, and edited in the computer, these 3 lean and mean tracks, have an unadorned feeling that build on Hyperdub’s love for old John Carpenter style electronics, combined with Dr Patrick Gleason’s ear for the abstract, and bouncy drum machine syncopation that sounds like they’re aiming for an alternative present where analogue synths are still king.
Chasing Rainbows, is first off, with a dark tone that reminds of the opening theme to the film ‘Escape from New York, a wavering 303 bassline and tough kicks and snares giving away to heavy, moody chords.
The Chase works rough rolling drum machine beats that stutter and build into strange fills that threaten to stop the track dead if it wasn’t for the strange stumbling bassline and gently building acid line that resolve into a super funky melodic duel with some stuttering synth strings.
Liloos Seduction is intense, quiet and abstract; a flickering 303 bass line is joined by barely there drums and reflective keys, everything shimmering in a dramatic fashion with gentle echoes giving the track a deep, watery sense of perspective as each part gently and gracefully builds and twists into a tender and effecting melody.
And the Mix
King put together a mix for FACT magazine I think many readers will adore, sprinkled with science fiction references, and veering from dark, film-like dystopias to shadowy club music to symmetrical electronic arpeggios, as if you’ve ducked out of the streets of Blade Runner and into a future cantina before a spin around the arcade.
1. Dialog from 1984
2. Lowleaf – Tala At Twilight
3. Fhloston Paradigm – Live Interlude #1
4. Chemical Brothers – Escape Wavefold (from Hanna soundtrack)
5. Boom Boom Satellites – Dub Me Crazy
6. Tenko – Slope – Gradual Disappearance
7. Eurhythmics – Take Me To Your Heart
8. Blade Runner dialog (rain scene)
9. Sleepy Tea – Specta Cierra
10. Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto – Microon III
11. Fhloston Paradigm – Live Interlude #3
12. Fhloston Paradigm – The Chase
13. JJ Doom – Banished
14. Power Douglas – Little Gong
15. Jerry Goldsmith – Intensive Care (From Logan’s Run soundtrack)
16. Raymond Scott – Portofino
17. Paul McCartney – Blue Sway (Demo)
18. Fhloston Paradigm – Song For Charlie
19. Synergy – The Mystery of Peri Reis
20. Galaxy 2 Galaxy – Frag 2
21. David Sylvian – Answered Prayers / Carla Bley (dialog)
22. King Britt presents Scuba – Bare Naked feat. Imani Uzuri
23. Fhloston Paradigm – Live Interlude #3
FACT mix 322: King Britt presents Fhloston Paradigm [factmag.com]
Don’t miss the FACT coverage leading up to this release, either, which includes some great interview on King’s process and love of science fiction (and how he got the name Fhloston Paradigm – thanks, Rucyl!)
King Britt on Fhloston Paradigm, pulp sci-fi movies and recording for Hyperdub [factmag.com]
To paraphrase the Justin Bieber fans, this mix is PERFECT. I’m going to leave it on repeat all day.