Premiere: Rookley – Panic
The enigmatic Italy-through-Berlin producer takes us by the hand and leads us through the darkness, forcing us to feel our way to the light with the aid of an intricately woven tapestry of industrial textures and bodies of metal.
Whilst at first the buildings threatened to topple him, the lights to blind him and the traffic’s hiss to penetrate right through to his bones, he now found himself at peace with the city. Realising that he himself made up one part of its hostile landscape – his body litter on the pavement and his breath pollution in the air – he wondered what it meant to live in harmony with one’s surroundings. Did his apartment floorboards cry as he moved across them? Did the tram ache with the the heavy load of every day? He resolved that the city was necessarily a place of angst, and in that knowledge he found clarity and comfort.
Rookley presents the ninth addition to the Aimend catalogue – the imprint he established in 2017 as a platform for the moody atmospherics which he produces as meditations on the city as place and environment. The 7-track LP entitled ‘Playground’ is at once introspective and outward-facing, casting the intimate sensation of human flesh as well as the alien hardness of metal. Translated in three singles already made available, this at times sounds like mournful synth swells (‘Garage’) and at others clattering breaks and confused vocal fragments (‘Run’ and ‘Parasite’).
A hard-hitting, syncopated beat lends ‘Panic’ its driving propulsion, maintaining its solid force as other percussive layers are drowned in reverb. The track reaches a climax with the help of choral wails which build under Burial-esque ambience which is seemingly identifiable yet composed in a way that makes it bizarre.