DRM PT 2 follows up on last year's DRM on this vinyl only sampler of Merveille & Crosson's forthcoming album. I hadn't heard DRM prior to this and whilst Visionquest, the label behind this release, undoubtedly have one of the best track records around at present I was still a little floored by this release.
The EP is made up of three tracks but there is little direct connection between them aside from their relative proximity on this EP. 'Again & Again' starts as an experimental IDM track - a rounded, bumpy bassline and snatches of clattering background noise gently coalesce, but it is the random shafts of freeform jazz, courtesy of Greg Paulus on trumpet, and vocal snippets that transform this track. Things move towards impossible-to-dance-to and then, fairly rapidly, back again. It's an infectious eight-minutes precisely because of it's intelligence - there is just such a freshness in the noise.
'At The Seams' still feels like jazz music, but now mostly of the modern-piano variety. Soft electronic keys form a delicious background melody to harsh, intense analogue ones. Female vocals come from Banana Lazuli provides vocals, hidden and bruised, that dance in and out of melodies that seemingly extrapolate their course in front of our eyes. There is no beat here and more is one needed.
Final track 'Pending' is the most percussive here, layer upon layer of melody, white noise and drum beat building, turning and gradually falling out of range. A piano, played by Kate Simko, once again marks out the foreground melody but there is as much behind the scenes to enjoy. The non-linear progressions feel distinctly Eastern in origin and the jazz styling remain.
DRM PT 2 is clearly aimed at the high-brow and that will alienate some, but if it's an EP of jazz and electronic music that impresses if you give it the space. A fantastic introduction to Mervielle & Crosson's forthcoming album.
DRM PT2 is released through Visionquest on 17 September.