Epic set from Jak beat freak Jon Nicolson, riding rawest machine rhythms somewhere between Suicide and Traxx on his 2nd and most significant release to date.
Nicolson has used the S.S.P.S. (or S.S. Pyramid Snake) handle since a 2008 split with Led er Est, back when he also played in Animal Collective-affiliated psych rock group Excepter. His tunes have landed on James Holden’s DJ-Kicks mix and the likes of L.I.E.S. over the years, now leading to ‘The Life and Times of GiGi Black’ on Traxx’s cult label, Nation.
Spread over four LP’s, it’s an in-depth survey behind the curtain of hi studio spanning amphetamine steppers to K-holing screwballs and harder-to-place expressions of synthy grot and noise that are best considered akin to Beau Wanzer’s brand of weirdness or the rusty EBM industrialism of Liquid G, as much as Suicide, Throbbing Gristle, and jak beat standard bearer Melvin Oliphant III (Traxx) or the crankiest Tuning Circuits.
More than anything, SSPS prizes synth hardware’s potential to produce potently acrid flavours and timbres, which he subsequently squashes and kerns into the sleaziest and hypnotic grooves. It’s a strong example of hybridising avant/alt.rock thrust into club music, and vice-versa, without chucking the baby out with the bathwater. The steep shelf price may put some off, but those willing to fork out will be privy to some of the gnarliest tackle we’ve heard for ages – be warned: it’s not getting re-pressed.