Lee Gamble | Exhaust | Hyperdub
Release Date: 15 November, 2019
Feature Image: Lee Gamble by Sarah Ginn
In the tumultuous world we inhabit, all that surrounds us can often feel suffocating; the oppressive structures of modern society that we are forced to adhere to or attempt to exist within often feels absurd, unbelievable. We can find ourselves heavy with worry, as chaos and unpredictability lurks in every corner – political and socio-economic issues weighing cumbersome. Within the arts, a platform is created that is unique in its expression, ‘abstract’ representations of our perspectives and experiences – and with that a dichotomy can present itself, art that provides a level of escapism from our reality, or art that tackles it directly. It doesn’t necessarily have to be either / or, as everything can and does contradict or combine in ways that may not seem noticeable at first – but often many may call for a separation of the two.
UK composer and producer Lee Gamble embraces the underlying philosophy and politics of our beautiful yet terrifying human experiences, using the platform that music allows as an auditory traverse through the complexities (and surrealism) that govern our modern existence. Exploring these themes in an intricate and conceptual triptych titled ‘Flush Real Pharynx‘ released via Hyperdub, Gamble returns with the second in the series entitled ‘Exhaust’. With the triptych an emphasis on the ‘semioblitz’ – a phrase originally coined by cultural theorist Mark Fisher, the term can be described as ‘the aggressive onslaught of visual & sonic stimuli of contemporary cities & virtual spaces.’ – an exploration on how politics and economics shape our culture, and in ‘Exhaust’; the extreme sensory overload that comes with the oppressive late capitalist system we are forced to inhabit, studded with incessant noise and manipulation.
Ambient innocence glimmers as ‘Glue’ opens with the twitter and chirps of birds, singing as a Fata Morgana; the calm before the storm as the gentle waves break into an abrasive dancefloor distortion, a primal energy exuding from the raw beat. An aura of vibrant chaos is tinged with a juxtaposing cohesiveness; allowing for short reflective moments amongst a raging textural storm, walls of fuzzy electronica shattering and reforming in the track’s powerful drive – commanding attention in it’s dynamic hypnosis.
A buoyant reverberating beat bounces an introduction to ‘Switches’, bold claps pulse as percussive heartbeats in an animated drum & bass-esque progression. The barks of a dog compliment a bubbly synth melody, swimming amongst touches of ambience – reminiscent of retro video game music (thoughts of the underground level in Super Mario Bros, monochrome in it’s shades of blue) – saccharine even in it’s more disconcerting minor notes, animated and bold in experimentation.