Review: Unfucked – Unfucked (self-released, Feb 8)

Moscow project Unfucked’s self-titled debut is just about as close to bedrock as one can get in the context of electronic music. Whether these five untitled pieces were generated using modified/cracked circuits, modular synthesis, or some obscure combination of both, the result is a series of mechanical yet intimate meditations with fully exposed innards, at once evoking the sensation of being in the actual room with the artist as they play and the strangely comforting hypnosis of aimless, exploratory tinkering. Any time the tactile processes of creating sound are presented alongside the sound itself there’s a unique but consistently immersive effect introduced (Giovanni Lami is the main example that comes to mind), and Unfucked is no exception; the metallic clutter of pushed buttons, flipped switches, and cables yanked and plugged back in gives the sluggish sci-fi pulses and rumbling drones a quite complementary sharp edge. More environmental artifacts cast their frail shadows on the music as the album progresses: distant voices haunt the pivot between I and II; III juxtaposes soft rustling, whispers, and whistles with dense, throbbing loops; the very walls and floor shake in V. Whether it’s a splitting of seams, a dissolving of delineations, or a blurring of borders, any kind of musical boundary transgression is always welcome, especially if it’s as intoxicating as this.

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