JFK - Weapon Design (CD Fourth Dimension)
JFK is Anthony Di Franco. Heís had a part in a few bands many readers here will know most notably Skullflower and Ramleh (who he still plays with today). Plus thereís his solo projects Ax, Ethnic Acid and this one, JFK.
I canít pretend to have a huge historical knowledge of JFK. A 7Ē from the early 90s is my only previous time of hearing JFK and the Ax album I have is a more power electronics based album when compared to the rhythmically heavy sounds on Weapon Design.
This CD is a follow up to the vinyl release that Weapon Design originally came out as and given the extra amount of available time on a CD comes with two extra tracks.
The most immediate reference that came to mind with this album was Pan Sonic and other groups on the Sahko label. Thereís quite an emphasis on those sparse gated snare type sounds that bands like Pan Sonic were very keen on. Snappy short snare beats combined with analog sounding synths noises. Almost martial in places. The album keeps you ensnared with these sounds taking on different elements and influences as it goes. D.M.Z reminding me of What A Day by Throbbing Gristle with its repeating motif and could be a good contender for the most commercial (for want of a better word) of the pieces on the album. On the other hand the following track Reality Slicer is possibly the least user friendly piece; coming out like some sort of alter ego of drum and bass with its clipped staccato snare pattern pummelling away at you.
Pseudo Erotics again reminds me of TG. Its plain lonely beat (sitting on top of a low level squall of electronics) reminding me of Persuasion. This would have been the closing track on the vinyl version and rounds things off very nicely.
What I like about these tracks is the way itís not all just a full out power electronics assault on your senses. Thereís plenty of soft moments as well as plenty of hard moments and that rises this above other outfits trying to occupy a similar space.
The two bonus tracks on this CD are further snappy snare beat based pieces. The first of the two Enantiodromia is the slightly more aggressive and insistent of them with more fractured rhythms taking this further away from Sahko and more towards Autechre territory. The final piece Interference II is a more restrained companion to the piece Interference from earlier on, on the album.
Itís a very impressive release and hopefully this ramping up of JFK activity will continue. DB.