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Step Right Up: Best Available Technology

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Best Available Technology – Portland Oregon’s Kevin Palmer – is the latest contributor to the Bangers and Ash (or BASH) series, available now on 12″ and digital by Styles Upon Styles Records.

Words: Mark Carry, Illustration: Craig Carry


Released by Styles Upon Styles Records, the Bangers and Ash (or BASH) series invites artists to create heady experiments for the A-side and club-oriented tunes for the B-side of a specifically designed 12″ record. The series of collectible vinyl is a music lover’s dream – especially for those inclined towards the experimental dance and techno scene – where limited runs (normally of 300 copies) are made and distributed worldwide. An array of interesting artists have already partaken in BASH, namely Tomlaan, Clay Wilson, KG/KS, Best Available Technology, and soon-to-be-released, Certain Creatures. The Brooklyn based Bangers and Ash label have delivered a plethora of warped techno house aces in the form of these innovative artists – each having their own unique vision of what possibilities are sought from the digital spheres of sound.

Best Available Technology is the alias for Kevin Palmer. The Portland-Oregon based producer has released several records under an array of prestigious independent labels, such as Opal Tapes, Further and Astro: Dynamics. A beguiling collection of drum machine experiments – recorded between ’92 and ’97 – was released by Astro: Dynamics, entitled ‘Excavated Tapes 1992 -1999 Vol. 1’, which showcased Palmer’s compelling experimentations with sound, and the ability to create something ultimately humane from the synthetic sounds utilized. Under the guidance of the Bangers & Ash concept, Palmer delivers three lurching Ash experiments and two crystallized Bangers. The vinyl edition designs are spray-painted, after which they are screen-printed by hand, and released on a limited run of 300. The record was mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at D & M in Berlin.

Two distinct worlds are created as the A-side builds slowly with its menacing beat and drifting abstract tones, whilst the B-side of club-oriented tunes casts shape-shifting grooves and masterful sonic wizardry. The flip-side tracks of ‘Contrecoup’ and ‘Tide Tunnels’ are sublime dub-techno odysseys, whose intricate patterns reveal more and more upon every revisit. ‘Contrecoup’ has pulsating beats and dazzling rhythm as layers of sound are added throughout. The following ‘Tide Tunnels’ is Palmer’s most accomplished work here, with all aspects of the dub-techno soundscapes heightened whilst remaining in the dub-controlled environment. A wonderful sense of space is forever inherent in Best Available Technology’s works, as the layers of intricate sounds are allowed to breathe and resonate powerfully amidst the live improvisations. With an array of aged, battered machines, Palmer successfully delivers a unique blend of colossal techno-house aces.

In contrast, side A represents the DIY experiments, where the cuts are shorter and slowed down tempos conjure up an eerie atmosphere of ghostly beats and warped sounds. The opening ‘Bulldozer Rituals’ possess dark, hypnotic beats with sudden tempo changes halfway through. Side A’s highlight comes with ‘Venom, Pheromone, Phosphorous’, with dark tones and drifting progressions that delivers a scintillating Ash experiment.

Hot on the heels of Best Available Technology, Brooklyn’s Oliver Chapoy AKA Certain Creatures will represent the latest – and fifth and final installment of 2013 – of the BASH series. Featured in the techno explorations are narrations by Ike Yard (Stuart Argabright/Black Rain), and promises to be yet another unmissable foray into the techno headspace.


BASH004 by Best Available Technology is out now on Styles Upon Styles, available on 12″ and digital here. 



Written by admin

September 12, 2013 at 11:43 am

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