Anstam: Dispel Dances (50 Weapons)
Anstam is the second artist on Modeselektor’s underground-cum-overground 50 Weapons imprint to release a full-length album this year. So far their attention to quality control has been superb, with a typically solid series of 12"s complemented first by Cosmin TRG’s album this summer and now Anstam’s even more compelling album. Whereas TRG used the full-length go to horizontal and lateral, giving himself plenty of room to breathe and roam, Anstam fills nearly every moment with physicality. Even its less harrowing moments tend to vibrate with nervous energy, like the jaunty keys and “Statical” or the rollicking bass synth of “Stone Cold Hug.” Only the closing track, “Say My Name,” rests, a five-minute comedown that crinkles with light vinyl surface noise and ebbing pads. But some of the more spastic moments are the highlights of this set, especially the delayed rave stabs of “Handsome Talks the Talk” or the clattering percussion fills of “In the Bull Run.” Anstam’s knack for syncopated, chaotic drums reminds me of the more sample-heavy post-whatever sound of Amon Tobin in his earlier days, but faster, darker, more animated. It’s a wallop of an album, 40+ minutes of dense, hefty maneuvering through interesting terrain, another gold star in the ongoing success of 50 Weapons.