2 out of 5
Label: MeWe Le Disque
Produced by: John N. Sellekaers (mastered by)
Frederic Mergam – Fuck Uphner – co-ran MeWe Le Disque (in part to release this EP), which morphed in to WeMe once his cofounder parted.
While that’s a pretty straight line from one label to another, WeMe, from its very first release onward, has seemed like it’s had a much clearer trajectory than the initial MeWe variant. Whether or not that was due to it not being a solo project in that format, or simply a timing convenience – MeWe lasted for four releases, and maybe by that point, Mergam knew what he wanted – I can’t say, but this also feels reflected in the (as far as I can tell) temporary existence of Fuck Uphner, as well as the music contained on this short six-tracker.
It starts off incredibly promising with Cinok, a four-minute jam that mixes hardcore drum & bass wizardry with some delightful IDM breaks and a sense of melody not often mashed with such a heavy beat, but it kinda continues to lose the thread from thereon out. Followup track Prince has a similar m.o., it’s just not as pummelingly attention-grabbing as it’s lead-in; Fantastik, closing out the A-side, is just a sketch of an idea; a vague skitter. And unfortunately, this continues to the B-side, with two other sketches – Drum La Bass and Ewem – bookending the ambient PB 64. It’s not that these other cuts are wholly without value, they just lack identity, and the sequencing feels like it’s just done to spread enough time out across two sides. This is where the rating sinks below average: if I have no real inclination to return to an album. Fuck Uphner, in other words, comes across as a project by a dude who loves his electronic music, but maybe doesn’t know what to do with that love. Much attention is poured in to that first song, and then thereafter it’s a scattering of ideas – a struggle of what to do next.
And then, perhaps, Mergam didn’t have time to hone his own composition skills – which are clearly there – as his passions were poured in to releasing fantastic music from other artists.
Obviously I’m happy to have all the WeMe music we now have, but it would have been interesting to see Fuck Uphner evolve past the bits and bobs of the mostly unfocused Untitled.1