WS-C001: neuschlaufen/Orlando Ferguson - Split
WS-C002: Sebastian Oldsmith – Make it Rain
New York / Leeds-based label and promoter (that’s a new label and promoter based in Leeds and York, not a label and promoter based in New York and Leeds) Wonkystuff has announced its arrival with what some may consider an odd strategy, in the form of a brace of cassette-only releases. They stand, of course, as a statement of intent, a manifesto of sorts: it says the label are hip to underground trends, that they’re niche, and don’t give a fuck about widespread mainstream acceptance. The music on these two releases more than adequately substantiates this.
The neuschlafen / Orlando Ferguson split cassette, displaying the label’s premier catalogue number contains a track by each act, each with a running time around the 15-minute mark. Neuschlafen’s ‘Repetitive Strain (edit) is a thumping psychedelic jam centred around a relentless motorik beat and looping bassline. Orlando Ferguson, meanwhile, offer an eerily atmospheric work that drifts ominously. A piece that would comfortably sit on the soundtrack to a sci-fi movie, it conjures images of alien landscapes and of rocks drifting in space.
Sebastia Oldsmith’s ‘Make it Rain’ 4 track EP is released here with no fewer than 8 bonus cuts. It’s big on stuttering, lolloping clamouring beats that bounce this way and that, rattling inside the listener’s cranium with gathering intensity and irritation. It’s anxiety-inducing electronica , the anti-rhythms juddering and jittering against pings and bleeps, hums and glitches.
You couldn’t call of the audio on these two releases easy going, but then, they’re not supposed to be. This is music for obscurists, for those enjoy recordings that are challenging, experimental and atmospheric. And in catering to that small but dedicated market, the kind of market where people collect not just bands, but labels, Wonkystuff have got off to a strong start. With an eclectic but definite musical focus and a clearly defined style when it comes to artwork, Wonkystuff has all the makings of a cult label.