MORAST "Drawing Figures into Negative Space" (Baba Vanga)

The Baba Vanga label based in the Czech Republic is one of many offshoots that traces itself back to Easterndaze-a project dedicated to highlighting eclectic, electronic music from Eastern Europe to a western audience while simultaneously fostering artist cooperation. Releases off of Baba Vanga are slow yet steady, releasing only when they have found something “that catches its fancy”. Earlier this year, something did indeed catch their fancy, Moritz Morast’s glitchy techno noise frenzy, “Drawing Figures into Negative Spaces”.

Morast has a terrific approach to improvisational techno creation: take a pro data patch for jamming with, observe the irregularities the patch offers, and then deconstruct techno until it is rendered meaningless (it’s quite simple really)! The result is a demented crunchfest, with any strand of a traditional techno sound pushed to the periphery. Opener “Kathrinchen” is a splatter fest of industrial sounds, opening on the verge of a data collapse, before inkling ever close to the red. When you catch a techno drum beat or synth bloop in the track (turn the mega bass button on your tape deck of choice!), it is akin to unearthing a ghost in a machine, forever haunting these vicious noise flashes.

Always on the verge of spiraling out of control, but never quite doing so, Morast’s five compositions are building to something before completely rendering the sound obsolete. None of the tracks make an attempt to sugarcoat their intensity. “Drying up the marshes of self-exploitation” is mostly composed of a simple bass beat and synth beeps that build up before being completely kicked back down by unforgiving, vaporous drums. The title track contains a pervasive ticking rhythm that seems completely detached from the airy, gaseous noises and sirens of the rest of the track. Even when the closer “dancing upon ashes of previous visions” finally forces you to the dancefloor, it only takes a few minutes before any semblance of tribalesque techno drums becomes obsolete in the face of pulsing data collapse. The nature of these improvisations (even down to the cover art!) can only be best described as abstract, constructivist impulses.

“Drawing Figures…” is a strict lie-down album that reveals itself best in those midnight hours, when your body is on the verge of collapse and dissociation. Might it guide those peaceful dreams!

--Matty McPherson