Boche – Beats (Entr’acte, September 2015)

The ever-exciting Entr’acte’s 188th record is a lovingly recompiled anthology of Boche’s electronic experiments recorded by the man between the mid-1980s and 1991. Boche was Hans Ludwig Jacoby, the author of one tape laconically entitledTape, which came out back in 1981 on the Animal Art label overseen by German cultural agitator Marc Behrens. Whoever he was, whatever he did, it’s criminal how underheard Hans Ludwig Jacoby has been until now; this record contains material remastered and sequenced by Behrens that has never been released before, and it’s whisker-lickingly beautiful.

Always teetering on the line between cunning and cutting electroacoustic and lusciously intelligent techno, Beats is a thing of dreams, a glorious succession of expert progressions of deeply thought-out rhythms, sonorities, manoeuvres. The true joy to be found here is in the feedback, all sorts of sexy, knowing, interesting manipulations of delay, whilst texture is undoubtedly the most satisfying and most succulent aspect of Boche’s music. Wet, jagged squelches – dirty but never vulgar – sit alongside echoed screeches reminiscent of searching through VHF radio at night, endless walls of insectoid pattering feedback, and empty space boominess. Moments of surprise flash up like fireworks: distant sharp whistles, woodiness, rustiness, whole screams, voices, conversations wrapped in destabilising filters, zooming in and out of earshot, going pure brilliant white and then hovering in the dark damp grain again.

Boche’s Beats is the kind of thing that makes you glad music’s recorded and stored on physical format so it can be found again. This one is sincerely and solemnly fantastic.

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