John T. Gast – Exile
368 copies. Limited one time press. Recorded and Mixed on the Greek Island of Evia, Winter 2012-13.
This one actually came out in 2013 and seems to be as rare as hen’s teeth these days – luckily we managed to source a few remaining copies direct from Men Scryfa. And as it’s one of our favourite releases to drop over these last few years we thought we’d give it pride of place – it really is something special.
Following productions for Hype Williams and some under-the-radar self-released CD-Rs as Henny Moan, the enigmatic Gast dropped this absolute bombshell. Not sticking to any one theme, Exile kicks things off with the aptly titled ‘Gunpowder’ – harrowing industrial synth lines and rain storms collide, coming off like an unmanned Skynet factory going haywire.
Next up is one for the dance – ‘Jah Zeus’ is a bowel shattering take on the already weighty 90s UK dub sound – think Jah Shaka, Aba Shanti-I etc. It ably lives up to its name with weapons-grade kick drums, snares like actual thunder crashes and a stark, gnarly, snake charmy ‘melodica’ weaving in and out of it all. Lots of tracks are labelled mutant dancehall these days but not many people are doing it like this and certainly not as heavy.
The flipside serves up another storm of industrial sci-fi with ‘Son of Thunder’ before calming things down completely with the title track. ‘Exile’ is a complete 180 degree turn but just maybe our favourite of the bunch, starting off with a perfect loop of piano-driven MOR balladry (better than it sounds!) adding in calming, layered synths and guitar – think ‘Betrayed In The Octagon’ era Oneohtrix Point Never – before stirring it all up to a gentle swirling close. Lovely.