Grimescapes is a new project from the pair behind Chino Balance & Ryun Ehlke and Iceman Junglist Kru - the latter of which released the industrial tome Mashed On Pills via The Tapeworm earlier in 2020. Mashed On Pills was a gritty, Coil-adjacent listen muffled by tape hiss, and while the clattering distorted drums of YO8TH’s soundsystem switch-up ‘Spider Mix’ offers something similar, YO8TH is largely a far cleaner listen.
A clearer mix allows for Grimescapes’ etherised illbient sound to really shine through. YO8TH opens and closes with a pair of dreamy, dubby soundscapes, the sort of things that used to punctuate Hype Williams LPs. While ‘Darkness Mix’ and ‘Balance Mix’ both float along on gorgeous plumes of synths, there is something unsettled about them which prevents them from comfortably occupying the term ambient. This vibe is dug out even further on ‘Emergence Mix’ - here the washed-out keys are placed in the back of the headphones while gurgling synths sputter away alongside them. It’s strangely arresting stuff, beautiful yet not without menace.
Like previous Youth Records drops from Blazer Sound System and Yard, Grimescapes’ YO8TH contains a set of curious Siren-song productions. These tracks lull the listener in through some woozily pretty keyboard tones while they are simultaneously destabilised by erratic little synth malfunctions and an underlying air of eeriness.
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