Graham Dunning reminds me a little of Billy’s inventor father in Gremlins – except that Dunning’s inventions actually work. His Mechanical Techno method is just as contrarian as the mechanical Mammoth Beat Organ he built with Sam Underwood, here using a modified turntable that allows several looping locked-groove records to be played on the same axle, while also mechanically triggering analogue synths, along with drum machines and real percussion.
With that technique, one might expect Music For Climbing Walls to sound inherently quirky, full of unavoidable wonkiness, but the result is anything but a mess. Tracks like ‘Kestral Selection’, ‘Build My Gallows High’ or ‘Void Worm’ deliberately make no effort to hide the little clicks that occur on the loops, but that’s about the only thing that betrays the complicated process that Dunning uses.
Is Dunning making a statement about the ease with which any wannabe electronic musician can produce a track while riding the bus to work? Or is he reminding us that early dance records were anything but straightforward studio creations? Either way, and irrespective of its methods and motivations, Music For Climbing Walls contains some of the most thrilling, authentic and original acid house-revering dance music around today.
Music For Climbing Walls by Graham Dunning is released by LTR Records on April 12 2019.
Words: Mat Smith
(c) 2019 Further.