Ed Devane: The Squirm EP
Touchin Bass

Since 1998, Barcelona-based producer Ed Devane has been provoking listeners with his noisesome electronic music and making good on his desire to instill paranoia, fear, and claustrophobia in the listener: the four decapitating cuts on The Squirm EP, Devane's aptly-titled 12-inch on Andrea Parker's Touchin' Bass, won't alter that reputation one iota. It's a brutal onslaught alright, and never more so than on the opener “Giant Bassmantix” where humongous bass lines throb while glass-shattering breaks writhe and a choral mass of phantoms groans. The intensity never lets up: “Doubt” howls like some poisoned mastodon, hellacious beats scream manically throughout “Ramsek,” and “Memorandum” approximates a trepanning operation amplified a hundredfold. For all that, occasional musical fragments rise from the ashes (a tinkly vibes melody inexplicably appears in “Ramsek”), making Devane's disc more than a pummeling caterwaul. An EP's the right length, too, as one shudders to imagine what crimes one might commit after ingesting an hour or two of similar material.

November 2006