Light in the darkest hour... On the latest full-length dispatch under his dedicated guise for ’ardkore-leaning dance music, Paul Woolford expands the world of the Special Request project beyond the confines of the rave to include field recordings of cracking icebergs, 20+ year old tape archives and ‘microtonal elements’. Right off the bat, opener “Chrysalis” suggest the early works of Richard D. James have been in heavy rotation on Woolford’s turntable, with a naive, microtuned analog synth lead gently chugging along beneath the impending doom of a looming glacial soundscape. The album marks a major shift away from the stretched breaks and pressurized sub bass that typified previous Special Request releases, and many standout moments on LP 1 and 2 channel that narrow apex (err, aphex?) where jungle and breakbeat hardcore meet acid house and techno: “Tiresias,” “Adel Crag Microdot,” “Curtain Twitcher,” “Scrambled In LS1.” There are a few slices of signature Special Request rave bashment yet; check out “Make It Real,” “Brainstorm,” “Leviathan” and “Light In The Darkest Hour” on LP 3 and 4. Presented by the good folks at Houndstooth (the record-releasing arm of London nightlife institution Fabric) in a stunning gatefold sleeve featuring a reproduction of Auguste Rodin’s sculpture The Gates Of Hell (depicting a scene from Dante’s Inferno) with code for digital download.
- 4x vinyl pressing
- gatefold sleeve
- digital download included
- music label: Houndstooth 2017
reviewed by frau farbissina 10/2017