Newest addition to experimental electronic label NonProjects is the Los Angeles based artist and sound designer Justin Hopkins. Going by the moniker 'Rarebit', the name has its origins in a comic strip Dream of the Rarebit Fiend, by Winsor McCay. Each week an unnamed character wakes up from an unexplained dream at the height of its confusion. Preceeding a full length due out a little later this year, 'The Destroyer EP' is a collection of tracks from over the past few years gathered into a digital release.
It is immediately evident that Rarebit finds beauty in the eclectic, the different and the colourful. Blending textured beats, jazz and world percussion on Initiation-Quitters-Freedom with soaring clarinet, washes of barely audible synths bubbling underneath. A fresh and choatic opener that quickly sets the pace. 'Aggro Crag's' crams an astonishing array of samples and sounds within its six minutes or so. Appearing disparate on first listen, it is in fact a cleverly constructed piece of siren vocals, broken drum rhythms, spliced then relayed into new formations and a lush bassline that gets a short solo in a Mike Oldfield Tubular Bells-style prog-out. You can't help but get your head nodding.
Slime Time Live describes a sound which I can only liken to the surface of mercury, poured over tribal drum patterns that break into keyboard runs and then die suddenly. Featured in the last few tracks - Onigashima, Tape Shreds and Initiation-Quitters-Freedomare - are moments of real joy; psychedelic lights in mashup-beat magic with Japanese tinted flows similar to that of Susumu Yokota, and offset by computer game interludes of Shigeto. The last tracks' intricately balanced reversed hihats shimmer amongst a hazy veil of synths that are intensely visual.
An inventive beat scientist with soul, Hopkins' collection of sound artefacts had me excited, enthralled and wanting more. Can't recommend this highly enough.
Released 14th June, available from NonProjects