Alexi Delano and Xpansul: Intelligence Reframed
Plus 8

VA: Spaceships & Pings
Items & Things

Two superb slabs from the Windsor bunker, the first a Plus 8 debut from Alexi Delano & Santi ‘Xpansul' Ferrer and the second a strong premiere outing on Items & Things, a Minus label offshoot founded by Run Stop Restorers Magda, Marc Houle, and Troy Pierce.

Judging from the four precision-tooled cuts on the Intelligence Reframed EP, Delano and Ferrer astutely recognized a sonic kinship when they met in Madrid in 2004. Programmed to perfection and with nary a hair out of place, their material is almost impossibly tight. The storming “Echolocation” kicks off the A side with an acidic orgy of machine noise and a driving throb, before all manner of surging electro intricacy and bubbly percussive funk inflames the locomotive squelch of “Cosmic Antipathy.” “Vegetotherapy” keeps things moving on the flips side with a deeply swinging electro-shuffle until “Meta-Intellectual” takes over with a royal strut, seemingly indifferent to the panoply of wiry melodies sputtering and uncoiling overhead. ‘Intelligence Reframed' indeed.

Spaceships & Pings presents individual cuts by Magda, Houle, Pierce, and pal Konrad Black whose “Coma Couch Surfing” opens the match with a disco-driven plod given a body search by stabbing synth melodies, after which Magda's funky “Black Leather Wonder” drips spooky squelch and splashes over a hammering electro pulse. Smothering his pulse with owly chatter and other creature babble, Houle opts for rubbery, Minus-styled propulsion in the woozy “Kicker,” setting the stage for the tripped-out house broiler “The Day After Yesterday” from Pierce and help-mate Gibby Miller and given a disturbing twist with the inclusion of a stalker voiceover (“I'm always watching you / I'm gonna get you…”). Items & Things may be different from Minus in name but there's no discernible lapse in quality.

November 2006