Not much is known about John T. Gast, but we first learned of him after spotting his name buried in the credits for Hype Williams’ (Dean Blunt & Inga Copeland) Black Is Beautiful LP for Hyperdub. Gast has continued to work with the two elusive producers since they parted ways shortly after Black Is Beautiful, and has amassed a small but impressive ouvre of his own, working with some of the UK’s most exciting labels. In the time since Excerpts, his 2015 debut full-length for Planet Mu, he’s released one-off plates for Blackest Ever Black and Apron, released a limited CD-R of woodland casiotone and dungeon riddims as Young Druid, and linked back up with Copeland for “Sisters Of Control,” a masterclass in sultry dub. While Excerpts served as a thorough survey of Gast’s many styles and moods, INNA BABALON doubles down on haunted, cynical, end-of-world vibes filtered through clouds of zoot smoke and celtic goth mysticism. We’re amazed by Gast’s ability to wrangle so many disparate modes and flavors into a sound that is still undeniably, unmistakably UK - the cold steel mill sounds of Coil transmitted via Rinse FM circa 2006 (“Babl Callin”), provincial English folk vibes bashed against militant digidub à la Jah Shaka (“Jah Guidance”), Aba-Shanti-I bunning with SAW-era Richard D. James (“Celtfunk”); executed with badman precision and obsessive attention to detail. Originally produced in a run of 100 cassettes in 2016, the album is given renewed life with a much-deserved double vinyl pressing courtesy of Milan-based Haunter Records. Recommended.
- double vinyl pressing
- limited edition
- music label: Haunter Records 2017
reviewed by hannibal chew 12/2017