Roly Porter: Third Law
Tri Angle (2016)
Thick blackness and stars. No sound. A sliver of light splits space and reveals the rippling circumference of a large planet. Not Earth. White rays and prisms shoot off into the void, and the sliver becomes a half moon. Noxious gasses unfurl from the planet like tentacles. Shadows peel back back from craters that scar its surface like acne.
You watch this alien environment from outer space in some modular, hulking ship all smeared with the dusty residue of atmospheres past travelled. There’s a gaping wound where the fuselage used to be. Tubes and wires stream gently out into the void without caring that you might not ever get back home. The rest of the crew float silently amongst the cabin’s debris. Occasionally they bump into something – a wall, a chair, another person – and change trajectory without registering. They’re not going to wake up again. Something liquid passes by your face in a mouthwatering splash held together by the absence of gravity.
You think to yourself, ‘Where the fuck is Sandra Bullock when you need her?’ while remembering a Hollywood blockbuster you once saw. Calmly you climb into and pressurise your suit. You peer out into space and admire the stars one last time before jumping out of the wreckage with no idea how you’re going to get out of this mess.
This is the sound of Roly Porter’s Third Law.
Roly Porter: Lifecycle of a Massive Star
This year I’ve listened to more great music than I’ve been able to write or think about. Perhaps it’s my involvement in the Antidote Podcast, perhaps 2013 has been a great year for weirdo music, more likely it’s a combination of both. This Roly Porter record is one of those gems that almost slipped me by.
It starts off slowly, rising from the murk in a swirl of synths. It’s like the soundtrack to a thousand alien spacecraft descending on earth while its population stands mesmerised in disbelief. From there we wander through fragments of deconstructed Jungle and Rave references, calling to mind Lee Gamble’s sonic experiments. Rhythm is eschewed for ambience penetrated by blasts of noise and sonic shrapnel. The entire monster moves at the pace of Doom but the feeling is one of meloncholic catharsis rather than crushing defeat.
If there’s a noise scene at the moment it’s dug it’s way back underground (probably hibernating for a revival helmed by a new cast of misfits), and instead we get artists like Porter applying the aesthetics of noise to an electronic world with closer ties to rave culture and chill out rooms. Pete Swanson, Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement and a large chunk of Pan’s amazing catalogue are pursuing similar interests. Roly Porter is another fantastic example of this shift. Don’t let Life Cycle Of A Massive Star pass you by.