Still Remains

[Public Guilt; 2005]

Styles: turntablism, experimental, ambient
Others: Dälek, Aphex Twin, Phillip Jeck

I saw Dälek perform in Hoboken a couple of years ago. They opened for Buck65. The most riveting aspect of their performance was their DJ. I watched as he scraped, raked, and stabbed his Tech 1200s with his needle. And he headbanged while he did it. The needle skittered across the vinyl creating all sorts of ramshackle noise, stunning much of the unsuspecting audience. Once Dälek's set concluded, Buck took the stage and deadpanned: "I think I just soiled my pants."

The nauseating effect Dälek had on Buck65 was mostly due to Still, the erratic DJ. With his solo ventures, Still slows the pace down a bit -- settling for an ambient trudge that careens from speaker to speaker. The greatest achievement of his new album, Remains, is the method in which it was made. Still is a turntablist through-and-through. Those spinning slabs of vinyl are his instrument. He relies on them for everything. Still's talent lies in his ability to use his turntables in ways others are afraid to. With the help of an array of effects pedals, Still lets unfamiliar sounds seep from his instrument. It makes for an eerie, sometimes menacing, series of compositions.

I think I'd find Still's recorded material harder to appreciate if it weren't for witnessing his live performance first. For those who haven't had this luxury, just take my word for it. Or hire Still to do your birthday party, whatever.

1. Once Confronted
2. Atrophy
3. A Dream You Were Alive
4. Need
5. Futility
6. Blindness (live)