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Caveman LSD - Total Annihilation Beach 12"

Caveman LSD - Total Annihilation Beach 12"

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Total Annihilation Beach is the latest collection from Caveman LSD, one of the handful of monikers of Special Guest DJ / uon / sometimes just shy. Their releases under this name have always had the character of sonic transmissions – crushed sine-waves hurtling out of a wormhole, remote pirate radio bandwidths, whale-song picked up on radar, and so on. Here, the signal seems to come from a place whose remoteness is not defined by distance, but adjacency: these are alternate reality bops.

What does it sound like? Kind of solarpunk, but dirty; not at all an artifact from a hopeless culture. Percussion at the forefront; warm timbres and tones – never have I heard this producer play with tabla and tambourine loops as they do in “Lost Hours,” the opening track of the EP. The buildup holds tension and dynamics tight, with a vocoder-smoothed moan – sampled from the caveman’s own voice, on the low – alternating between two notes; when the beat decompresses for the first time two and a half minutes in, one hears the amorphous and cavernous pads we know so well from shy. “Bottle Service Angels” picks up with another acoustic drum loop, and a clap entering 18 seconds in swings the rest of the track into your hips – there’s even an alternate percussion interlude

sandwiched in the middle. The drums are turned over by a distorted and delayed wave, almost like a cop siren, which finds an answer in the track’s final seconds: we hear them blaring, but distantly (the demo version of this track, from spring 2020, was called “ACAB Beat”).

The B side begins with a textured, heaving slab of ambience: “The Sun Will Sink Into the Ocean.” It is perhaps the sun one sees setting over “Total Annihilation Beach” – a phrase that came to shy while tripping on LSD in San Francisco, which felt to them like a post-apocalyptic haven for the rich. Seems on point. There is a machinic repetition to the track, but also sweeping curtains of sound that move like mist. But what comes at nightfall? Not cops, not raiders nor bottle service angels – nothing, actually. Just a void into which one lobs praise. “H6 Remix” adapts a Mesopotamian hymn to the divine wife of a moon deity, dated to 1400 BCE; the strings of the sampled oud playing it out are rich and trail beautifully with reverb. Caveman LSD’s gesture of remixing such a song reads sincere – the reality we inhabit is likely just as brutal as the one to which these transmissions belong; however, in both, honor exists. Love follows.

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