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18: Channel 18 (Ultramajic)

18’s Channel 18 starts with the off-kilter vocal fragments of “AJH.”
Those distorted bits of male voice remind me of some of the weirder
stuff on early Perlon records, never quite coherent but just enough
to place it as a human voice with a little bit of creepy edge. The
music, however, is a handsome split down the middle between minimal
techno and a little bit of house flavor. In fact, it’s so familiar
that it feels like an amalgamation of the past and present rolled
into one track; it works to its favor rather than its detriment.

“Fire Procedure” feels like an alternate riff on the same style
of the opener, with a repetitious vocal pattern that provides the
missing link between its tech house stylings and something punchier à
la Fool’s Gold or UTTU. It’s Keeno’s willingness to throw in the
extra weird that makes these tracks particularly fun. Consider the
detuned hook of “Hutenzo” paired with its goofy
quasi-chicken-cluck accents and insistent claps — it has all the
urgency of a 90s jam but with a bit more of a wink. “QRTZ” has
the flanged bend of classic Errorsmith records but with its feet
firmly on the dancefloor with its repetitive rhythm section. Probably
my favorite off-kilter jam here is “That’s a Sea Sick Cat” — no
doubt named after its wonky hook and goofy vocal fragments. Fun and
infectious from start to finish, with rougher edges at times.

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