Russell Haswell – Respondent
Russell Haswell runs amok for Diagonal on a zinging 5-track “mini-LP” featuring, for the first time on a Haswell record, vocals; by performance artist Sue Tompkins ov Glasgow’s Life Without Buildings.
Taking cues from his formative teenage years listening to John Peel and discovering Factory, Mute and 4AD and Chicago house – prior to stints as a Christian missionary and chimney sweep at Sellafield – Haswell mangles those reverential memories as only he can in Respondent, resulting a blatz of blitzed bangers and curious aural probes making a significant new dimensions to his sound.
The highlight is undoubtedly his hook-up with Sue Tompkins, whose assertions that “records are round” nestle among more enigmatic confessions on the creased Chicago house-meets-freestyle abstraction, Special Long Version (Demo), while the runner-up prize goes to the EP’s final cut, Let Suffering Become You, which cannily opens with a sample of Jonathan Guiness being snooty about punks, then calves into the sickest acid techno bosch.
His other cuts are cool too, revealing a lesser-heard and relatively “clean” tonal aspect in the warped synthline of The Surface Is Unrevealing, and some proper DJ tackle in his lazed-misguided missile First In Man (Williams Mix).
We reckon you’ll all be coming back to that cracker with Sue Tompkins.