Review: Genus Inkasso – Occasionally Slumping, Smiling Weakly

It’s an odd collage, but always an audibly pleasing one. Occasionally Slumping, Smiling Weakly is crumpled, glitchy and torn – it stumbles through rhythms, flits suddenly between styles and landscapes, and traps itself in loops that momentarily feel utterly inescapable. Its movement is labyrinthine and unpredictable, dictated by a jittery impulse of eclectic and noisy consequences; live drum improvisation, lo-fi electronica, alien raygun psychedelics, soulless hold music and blisters of noise all get knotted into Genus Inkasso’s haphazard musical structure, thrust into place with a delightful indifference to any conventions of musical coherence or fluidity.

At times there are flashes of the tumbling, anti-quantise electronics of Autechre –  or maybe the playful, overlapping sound cycles of Black Dice – but the album’s stark contrasts and abrupt transitions mean that any points of reference are mere passing flashes of likeness rather than a lingering similarity. Ultimately, Occasionally Slumping, Smiling Weakly is all its own, ironically because its identity is always in a slippery unrest. From a listener perspective, it’s compelling to hear how the album’s carefully assembled atmospheres vanish in an instant, only for the music to rebuild as a completely fresh soundscape somewhere else.