But the biggest surprise was the actual musical content. Opening track "Snares In The Surf" is dominated by clean, cyclic guitar figures that make me think of Vini Reilly's work in the Durutti Column rather than anything by, say, Skream. It quickly becomes apparent that this album is coming from the far-left of experimental dance music, where any influence from established genres is subverted to the artist's own twisted vision. So whilst "1868: Meiji Lumber Crisis And The Waking Woods" (hey, snappy title!) might have started-out from a skanky halfstep template, the end result is a fractured reverb-scape of decimated snares, distant chords and serrated feedback floating in a murky bubbling lagoon - the most literal interpretation of 'underwater dancehall' I've yet heard. Similarly, "Conveyor Belt Politics Prt.2" might have started life as a sort of techstep hybrid, but swiftly develops into something far more personal and unique. "Texan Coffee" is an improbable fusion of dislocated beats, guttural bass and twangy guitar licks, "Freudian Brain Surgeon" strips the beats down to a mere whisper, focusing on plaintive synthetic warbles and bursts of unclassifiably processed percussion, whilst "Karmic Adjustments" is a pure sound-bath of beautifully sustained melodic drones. Final track "Waltzing Godzilla" is almost post-rock in feel, with growling slabs of jagged guitar trailing across heavily echoed drums like early Tortoise in a really bad mood.
It's not a perfect album by any means - some tracks are less successful than others, and some tend to go on a bit longer than they perhaps need to, but the very fact that Meek Tiger is forging ahead, trying to carve-out a sound for himself in this age of sterile conformity and empty retrogressive posturing is something to be encouraged and, perhaps, cherished.
Now I don't normally post MP3s on this blog anymore but, with the artists' permission and encouragement, I'm making an exception here. So for a limited period you can grab the following track for 'evaluation purposes'...
As I said at the start this is a very limited release without any proper distribution, so for more information about how to obtain this CD, check the label website or contact the artist direct- firstname.lastname@example.org