Andy Rantzen: 1/66

- Sydney’s Efficient Space is set to debut their fifth release, 1/66 by Andy Rantzen. In a way it’s an extension of their last compilation, OZ Waves, an excellent selection of Australian new wave and DIY recordings from the 1980s. Rantzen appeared on said compilation with the dubby Will I Dream, a highlight amongst an exceptional set of tunes.

Rantzen, a psychologist-come-producer has been making music since the '80s and is perhaps best known for being one half of ‘90s rave duo Itch-E & Scratch-E. His earliest work was as part of the Pelican Daughters, an experimental group with industrial-leanings.

Those instincts are present in the four tracks of 1/66. Although the songs are in a sense straightforward dub tracks, there are still all manner of loops and sound effects present. The retrospective is lead by Rock Steady, a bouncy dub track complete with vocal effects and moments of heavily delayed percussion. I love the synth chords that come in around the four minute mark. A personal favourite is Fantasy Dub, with its great bass groove and array of synth hits unfurling as the song progresses. I also enjoy Green River, starting with the swirling sounds of water, Rantzen providing some otherworldly keys. Interestingly, this set of four dubs was recorded between 1999 and 2000 in a home studio above a lawyer’s office and next to a brothel. Maybe that had some influence on the detached and muted feel of the tracks. Who can say?

Usually I’d include some comparisons to other music to provide context and come off as learned (I don’t really know that much about dub though). I like Sly & Robbie but it’s not like that. I love Rhythm & Sound but it’s nothing like that. Regardless, Michael Cucyk has delivered us some obscure archival material worth checking out. I look forward to what Efficient Space will serve up in 2018.

- Hillfolk.

Album Details

Album Title: 1/66
Artist: Andy Rantzen
Record Label: (Efficient Space)