Dead Janitor is the alter-ego for Slovak electronic technician Braňo Findrik. Over the past decade, he has steadily produced a series of digital releases leading to his debut Medusa LP for Urbsounds. With an arsenal of pixelated breakbeats and stuttering samples, Dead Janitor presents an adventurous form of polymetric electronica, echoing the complex IDM explorations of the pioneering work of Aphex Twin and Autechre.
Medusa is an apt title for the album that hybridizes digital and analogue technologies into a labyrinthine architecture of sound that prioritizes rhythm over melody. The title was inspired by the beloved camp of Clash Of The Titans but also alludes to the hostility that have become normalized in contemporary politics and culture. Here, Dead Janitor turns samples upside down, subjects the internal clocks to breakneck multiplication and division, atomsmashes electronic sound into it granular parts, and otherwise sets up rhythm to be in conflict with itself.
Tracks such as “Mandatory” that cycle through its 8-bit density of Gameboy bleeps and the title track with its aggressive industrial clamor provide a number of complicated listening experiences that reveal hidden patterns and rhythmic undercurrents over repeated listens.
With its emphasis on displacement and dislocation, Medusa makes for a thrilling if idiosyncratic album in the lineage of Evol, Mark Fell, Russell Haswell, and late-period Autechre.
It’s a bit perplexing to think that Bryn Jones (a.k.a. Muslimgauze) has been dead for 20 years, and yet continues to ‘release’ music. He must have been far more prolific than anyone could ever have imagined. Thankfully, the quality of a good deal of this archival music has been excellent. Not everything holds up, but this release gives the fans of the man what they want – experimental beats with a techno sensibility, made for dancing with heavy boots, I suppose.
Nothing but mad respect for the Queen of tastemakers our of Beirut, Nadine Assaf, who always finds the choicest electronica.
Polar Inertia offer a wonderfully minimalistic beat-oriented experience, something almost cosmic in scope. You can get a bit more about this French troupe here.