Ross Alexander returns to us, this time on Souk, with tracks lifted from his live set and re-interpreting parts of his album ‘Memorias vol.2 - High Atlas To The Sahara Desert’, released on Discrepant last year.
The pieces were initially made for presenting a version of the Memorias record in live context and take on a new form with what is effectively new material, using atmospheric recordings and trace elements from the original album as a base around which beat patterns and basses were constructed and layered.
Coming in around the 80/160bpm mark and drenched in spatial effect, the pieces take in bassed out drones, smeared late night dub-scape, warped jungle and blunted half time steppers. A refracted UK bass music influence is clear to hear as is reference to various tribalistic industrial-dub projects from the 90s to the present day and the unmistakable spectre of Bryn Jones’ Muslimgauze - as was indeed the case on the Memorias vol.2 track ‘Homage To The Cause’ itself a direct tribute to the work of Muslimgauze.
Despite their bass heavy nature these tracks remain as much about the underlaying soundscapes and atmospheres as the beats themselves. Each of the pieces is thickly layered with ghostly recordings and haunted tones echoing from the distance and serve much as the original Memorias vol.2 record did to present some form of an abstracted sonic travelogue, only this time as if you were walking through a Maghrebi night market or an abandoned Atlas mountain Kasbah listening to a jungle mixtape on broken headphones.
The cover shows an interpretation of the Amazigh/Berber symbol ‘yaz’ or ‘aza’ which is used to represent freedom or ‘free man’ which is the literal meaning of the word Amazigh.
“These are arrangements of some pieces I made to perform a version of the Memorias vol.2 record late last year and the start of this. I took recordings and textures from the original tracks and built beats and bass around them to create a new version of the album.
I put a band together with a percussionist and guitarist to play the stuff live and these are adapted versions of the drum tracks we used for those shows.”
released June 1, 2020
All tracks by Ross Alexander
Mastered by Daniel Garcia
Mastering on Track 4 by Damjan Blazun