The LP, a rare venture into vinyl for the cassette-coveting imprint, begins in earnest with "The Essence of the Earth as Arch as Arc." The contradictory number pairs overdriven wheezing with a stream of gorgeous chiming sounds that spill out in an embarrassment of riches. "Arc" latches onto the serene undercurrent of so much noise music and brings that obscured layer to the top, as much pleasing as it is eardrum-searing. Other tracks like "Her Prints Will Light the Path" further separate the trebly melodies from the distortion, almost wincingly bright and ivory-like. Dens buries (and alternately reveals) a stunning melodic sensibility akin to Emeralds' most accessible, shining moments, but with a method that feels more improvisatory and accidentally brilliant than anything else.
For the presumably insular narrative surrounding Dens' music, Lion's Baptism shares aesthetic preferences with the darker spectrum of techno. Imagine Raime helplessly rattling chains in a dungeon and that's kind of what the frightening "Bodycells Fortress" sounds like. The struggling "There with the Boxer, the Fog and Pale Queens in White Panties Dance" (catch your breath) smacks of the modular work of artists like Ekoplekz, while a mid-section of short, spiky bursts of noise reveals the antisocial side of Innercity is as active and potent as ever. Do your best to listen through the suffocating smoke of "Blind Guide Killing a Lioness" and you'll hear what sounds like a techno track burning itself alive.
Epic centrepiece "Birthnight" births a smothered techno beat from five minutes of machine gleam and whistle. Thumping from below, dripping with distortion and scarred frequencies, it's bound to scare as many people away as rope them in. Ranging from eerily piercing ambient to beautifully resonant lullabies to savagery that makes Perc Trax sound polite, Innercity is the kind of experimental/noise artist that ostensibly appeals to those listeners who don't necessarily buy a round of cassettes every week. Further's decision to stamp this one onto wax makes sense, because it's a standout on their label and in Dens' discography.
Fri / 19 Oct 2012
01. The Essence of the Earth as Arch as Arc
02. Bodycells Fortress
03. There with the Boxer, the Fog and Pale Queens in White Panties Dance
04. Blind Guide Killing a Lioness
05. On the Roads a Message of Home
06. Her Prints Will Light the Path
08. Prince of the Immortal Woods