::Erta Ale – Dirty Fingers::
Italian-born, Berlin-based electronic producer Erta Ale makes a beautiful racket. And he does using only his army of analog machines — an approach he calls ‘DAWless’, referring to his lack of a computer-based sequencer in his setup. The result is wonderfully organic music, as exemplified on his new EP for Exploited Ghetto, ‘Dirty Fingers’.
Across three tracks of sprawling, spontaneous, electronic breakbeat jazz, he sets out his musical manifesto. The title track is a dreamy, warm affair where squelching synth stabs filter up and down over a stuttered beat, fizzing chords and a hard-working, relentless bassline that dances incessantly. ‘Cosmic Jazz’ lets those keys go haywire, discordant electric piano noodling jarring against undulating bassline progressions and a shuffling broken beat, finding the sweet spot between relentless groove and chaotic expressionism. ‘Plastic Bones’ completes this unpredictable trio with thick sub bass drops, a tribal rhythm and a hypnotic chime arpeggiation that unfolds into an afro-jazz masterpiece.
This is a rare digital outing for the mostly vinyl-only artist, who has other material this year on the 7th instalment of DJ International’s legendary ‘Jackmaster’ compilation, and Alinka’s Twirl Recordings, not to mention his own Solenoid label.