Like its elder sibling enterprise, Deep Distance, London’s Polytechnic Youth label is seemingly on an unbreakable roll of high-quality productivity right now, to the point where you can’t afford to look away from the imprint for more than a few days, in case of a snooze and lose collecting calamity. And here are another two you might have missed already…
First up to examine here is another shared-lathe-cut 7”, coupling a side apiece from reliable PY regulars The Home Current and The Assistant. Whereas some split-singles are there for the cohabitation of ying and yang characters, these two gathered-together sonic nuggets are very much symbiotic offerings. Whether by accident or design, both wordless compositions drink from the same fountain of refreshing retro-futuristic electro-enchantment to the extent where if this scribe had not also had access to digital versions, the authorship of each offering might have been hard to discern.
Whilst to some this might seem an affront, it’s not meant to be, as either contribution is more than worthy of each artist’s ongoing self-refining journeying. Thus, The Home Current’s “End Of The Tunnel” warmly burbles and bustles along with soothing yet insistent electronic curlicues, pulsing robotic percussion and half-buried drones to remind us that any eventual singles round-up from Martin Jensen’s incrementally evolving one-man project will be a must-have. On the flipside, the also-alias-toting Oliver Cherer delivers another nugget as The Assistant with “Something Profound”, following a similar pacing powered by more primitive drum machines, over which mangled-beyond-decipherable vocals from Eyes In The Heat’s Zizi Kanaan jostle for space alongside whirring synths and noises seemingly stolen from the ‘unused droids’ section of the Star Wars sound effects archive. For fans of either project’s piecemeal release trails, this is another choice artefact to hunt down.
Going the whole hog in a meeting of like-mindedness, the second new near-simultaneously-released 7” features Polytechnic Youth’s starlet-in-the-making Faten Kanaan conjoining with the latterly Ghost Box-affiliated Pye Corner Audio (AKA Martin Jenkins). With Kanaan bringing extra synths and her hushed yet commanding spoken tones (which eerily and oddly imagine a female answer to Piano Magic’s Glen Johnson) to mould into Jenkins’ Vangelis-meets-John Carpenter sci-fi-noire-soundscaping, the collaborative A-side of “The Darkest Wave” makes for a bewitchingly-spectral combination. Whilst the Kanaan-free B-side “Mirror Lake” might miss her magnetic presence, Jenkins’ synth-layering hypnosis works well in terms of matching the same mesmeric mood-setting.
Already a hot-cake-like slice of vinyl, the initial 500-only run of this 7” virtually sold out within a week of becoming available in stores but a second 250-mail-order-only-run is soon to follow in a clear-instead-of-black pressing. With such a justifiable buzz building around Faten Kanaan and her offshoot endeavours like this, it can’t be long before a Domino, Drag City or Dead Oceans-sized cheque is opened-up by an A&R man. Until then though, Polytechnic Youth is where you can find her wares, with a follow-up album to last year’s The Botanist & The Archaeologist already in the pipeline for the near future.