UNCOU / Skyfarma ‎– Spatial Escape / Magical Invocations

4 out of 5

Label: WeMe Records

Produced by: Artsiom Khudziakou (?)

A split of some incredibly impressive electro – a lil’ bit’o IDM, a lil’ bit’o house – that does what, ideally, a split should do: gives you enough to get a sense of what each artist offers; gives you enough to make the record worth it if you bought it for one of those artists; gives you just enough to whet your palate for more, should you be so inclined.

And I am: UNCOU and Skyfarma both bring damned delightful beats to their three tracks, with the former maybe edging out the latter in terms of originality, but all six songs addictive in their own ways. “Spatial Escape,” UNCOU’s A-side, is, to me, prime IDM: there’s a kind of playfulness that recalls Bogdan Raczynski’s more structured work, but this is married to a couple of different layers: a funky backbone, and a Detroit-esque skin of futurism. It all mixes together fantastically, UNCOU stripping off and adding in various elements like a pro. Skyfarma’s “Magical Invocations” is more straight-forward, and acid-driven. The beats are ridden hard, and have a video-gamey intensity that makes them instantly familiar (in a good way) and danceable. Where Skyfarma loses a step to UNCOU is in developing these ideas: things are mostly just let rip for 4 or 5 minutes, which is still fun when the tunes are this cool, but it’s more noticeable in the wake of what the A-side offers.

One more thing: UNCOU and Skyfarma are the same person: Artsiom Khudziakou. And I love that: I was definitely surprised by how the split maintains a sort of tonal throughline, while also being fairly different on each side, and that both names are guises for Artsiom makes sense of that, and also makes it kinda more fun.