West Coast by Junk Culture will be released on 22 March on Illegal Art
Illegal Art is a backstreet home for Okapi, Tank Girl, Steinski and The Bran Flakes, creators of spray-painted soundscapes and gritty, sampled pleasures. A perfect fit then for Junk Culture, the label’s newest inhabitant.
Deepak Mantena has spent almost a decade operating under the Junk Culture banner, capturing sonic snapshots on a budget, hand-held recorder and melding them into synapse-searing collages. On his debut ep, West Coast, Mantena mixes old-skool hip-hop beats, found sounds from the streets of America or TV commercials and snatches of songs by artists including Animal Collective, Aphex Twin and Patti LaBelle.
The result is a compact lysergic lullaby, flitting between fast-paced flashbacks and brief passages of respite. Mantena says he is more interested in evoking certain moods or feelings than perfecting fidelity and on opening track, West Coast, you can hear why.
Beats brake and accelerate under a late-night, neon glow as the pre-dawn fallout from underground clubs stumble with a swagger. Unfathomable signposts flash by, all pointing to the inevitable comedown on a beguiling road to nowhere. And the AM station tunes in and out to the spectral sounds of Jazzmatazz and DJ Shadow.
Containing nine tracks and clocking in at 17 minutes, the West Coast ride is all too brief. But it’s a journey well worth taking. The album’s longer compositions give you just enough time to take in the brain-waved vistas while the off-road short cuts in between offer freeze-frame glimpses; lasting for just 28 seconds, the squelching sidewalk strut of Watson’s Glassy Stare shakes a leg in the direction of the fractured pastures frequented by ambient-techno artist The Field.
The thought of a night with Junk Culture in a small, sweaty, projection-lit club is a tantalising one, with staccato beats breaking in front of strobe-lit faces. However, in living room isolation, chose your moment carefully; this west coast trip is best experienced with the promise of a DIY, dusk-slung adventure on the horizon.
Junk Culture has just finished a US tour. No further live dates published at the moment.
Fore more information visit www.myspace.com/nojunkculture