Wanda Group is the Brighton-based Louis Johnstone, a man whose all-caps Twitter account paints him as something of a web-age prophet, and whose prolific output for labels including Astro:Dynamics, NNA Tapes and Leaving makes him one of the most intriguing voices in contemporary electronic music. Johnstone's discography over the past two years is best understood as a process of refinement: the more overt sampledelia of, say, 2010's Caveman Smack under the Dem Hunger alias has been gradually distilled until only the barely-there remnants of damage and decay remain.
With that arc in mind, the excellently titled PISS FELL OUT LIKE SUNLIGHT for cassette label Opal Tapes is perhaps the producer's subtlest, gauziest work yet. Johnstone assembles these two side-length tracks out of large building blocks: 30 seconds or a minute of a single idea, each cross-faded into the next, moments recurring multiple times or bookending others to form oblique poetic sentences. The results function like a particularly cryptic, labyrinthine mini-mixtape—a fine analogue for the way in which the majority of music is consumed in 2012.
Within that, dance forms occasionally come under scrutiny: early in "HER STOMACH ON TERROR" we're treated to a baleful techno throb over which reedy synths chirrup restlessly; later on, a hard-edged, Andy Stott-esque thump holds sway for a minute or so. The latter half of "PANS OUT IN THE AFTERLIFE" is dominated by a desiccated hulk of a kick drum, dreamy Detroit pads wheeling overhead. But Johnstone's relationship to the current crop of noise-techno fusionists is only passing; mostly this is an album of weightless moments: delicate washes of electrical hum, amplified grit in the wires, burbling synth clusters and stringently buried melodics. What's remarkable is the pathos that Johnstone wrings from these most microscopic of sonic phenomena.
Tracklist: Wanda Group - PISS FELL OUT LIKE SUNLIGHT01. HER STOMACH ON TERROR
02. PANS OUT IN THE AFTERLIFE