Jim Magas (Bulb Records, Lake of Dracula) starts new label Midwich, reveals solo EP as MAGAS

Jim Magas (Bulb Records, Lake of Dracula) starts new label Midwich, reveals solo EP as MAGAS

If the styles colloquially labeled “mutant techno” and “trip metal” in the US underground can loosely claim any sort of spiritual godfather figure, in terms of both sonic vocabularies and label/distribution practices, Chicago-by-way-of-Ann-Arbor champion zoner Jim Magas is that person. Over a catalog starting in the early 1990s, Magas built his reputation on the strength of experimental industrial outfits like Lake of Dracula, along with the mechanical squall of his own solo output. His seminal label Bulb Records kicked off the careers of gonzo luminaries like Quintron, Andrew WK, and the Wolf Eyes crew (Dilloway, Young, Olson, etc.), helping define what we’ve come to know as the grassroots avant-garde tradition in the American Midwest and beyond.

This year, Magas has decided to start a new imprint called Midwich Recordings, which has focused its scope thus far on beat-based electronic deconstruction. A new 12-inch under the MAGAS moniker constitutes the label’s inaugural jams, alongside the brain-smashing MEQ by the Nate Young-featuring duo Moon Pool and Dead Band.

Press play on “Machete King,” our first taste of MAGAS’s Heads Plus EP, and step out onto his twisted dungeon dancefloor. Although it bops along over a steady 4/4 electro beat, the track’s deranged lead tones prod the groove deeper into gnarled chaos. Magas’s synth voice carries the crunch and attack of a guitar, hitting us as blocky chords of overlapped analog riffing. As the rhythm thickens with the onset of stuttering handclaps and tom patterns, Magas piles on extra layers of corrupted synth mania that rise into the upper register of the mix in atonal swirls.

Heads Plus lands July 14 via Midwich.

• MAGAS: http://magasworld.com
• Midwich: http://www.midwich.net

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