In the last year, a steady flow of deftly crafted experimental sounds has poured from Berlin label PAN. Heatsick’s dirty, queer, Ron Hardy inspired, quasi-afro-indie-disco sex moans and Lee Gamble’s minimally reconstructed rave deconstructions share a trance inducing power, unleashed by splicing dance music’s DNA and re-sequencing its cell structure. Though varied in style, PAN’s offerings emphasize physical, textural grooves with shearing psychic resonance. Currents of carved weighty wax waves pile into amplified assonance and tease out into dissonant tension like rippling rubber ribbons, an ocean of tensed elastic bands. Stretched to the breaking point, these bulging bodies of sound snap beyond their physical bounds into transcendental mystery.
Commercial Mouth, Athenian Jar Moff’s PAN debut, is no exception. On both extended experimental cuts, ‘Tziaitzomanasou’ and the B-side title track, Moff draws from tributaries of the Rhine, Nile, Niger and Mississippi, slurping up ancient reservoirs of metaphysical musical tradition into a mighty rolling basin. Taking the recently noisy leanings of art-techno and reuniting them with their ancient free jazz origins in an audio-collage à la concrète, Moff effortlessly ties a bow between three generations of avant-garde. Here Keith Jarrett, Sun Ra and Ornette Coleman perform sacred analog computer rites, together with the likes of PAN’s Gamble. Violently shuddering, shrieking blasts of horn, creaking hums, whistling fuzz, and jangling bells explode as if unleashed from some Pandora’s Box, recalling mythical powers of creation and destruction. Sounds amble on seemingly without fixed pattern, like random rhythms of life, before disappearing into the uncanny canyons of imposed mental order. Take this quaking journey, at once to the centre and the boundaries of our musical universe.