release date: 17.october.2017
all tracks by jean-marc polet
mastered by frank riggio at doznexist. photographs by salt.
besides information about live and dj activities, there isn’t much to be found on subskan mastermind jean-marc polet. there were rumors about him working in a factory and using pure industrial samples for his artistic work - whether these rumors are true or not, they seem completely legitimate while listening to subskan's sound treatments. after two well received releases over the course of more than ten years, he has redefined himself artistically and personally - years in which he literally recorded hundreds of tracks coming to terms with most different aspects of his identity. 'ambidextrous asylums' is the final result of a precise selection around a deliberate setup and sonic coherence as well as a re-introduction of the artist subskan and the person jean-marc.
subskan's intention is expressing himself musically without any stylistic boundaries and classifications - placing great importance on the music speaking for itself and it not only describing the artist's moods and feelings, but also shepherding the individual listener's own journey into his inner core. this music stays in your mind long after it has faded away. this album's most diversified song structure permanently changes between feelings and tempers without any rest - each track transports into another mental status from psychiatric dark sadness and gentle positive joy or hope to desperate bedevilment. the music on 'ambidextrous asylums' touches a lot of different styles between beat-oriented intelligent dance music, melancholy-saturated electronica and abstract breakcore structures. a diligent use of instrumentation and samples plus the precise, clear production make this opus an outstanding release which re-establishes subskan back in full shape after years of self-discovery.
'waking up after a time where everything collapsed while you were sleeping, left for dead. and you realise everything that happened while you were in hell, while you were dead, or in another reality. but you missed everything in this reality... yours was completely different.'
dj and producer subskan (aka jean-marx polet) remains within a warp of obscurity—the german label behind his latest release, hymen records, suggest there are rumors he “worked in a factory and used pure industrial samples for his artistic work.” these utterances—made in the past tense—contribute toward the iris-scraping effort we make to glean a human body within these expressive industrial compositions. subskan emerges as a kind of dark foundry-priest, summoning dense tides of sound and compacting them into assemblages in which they nearly fall apart from their too much proximity. but this proximity—this crushing together—is what transforms ambidextrous asylums into a gorgeously perilous space. the asylum, a space of enclosure and withdrawal, becomes multiplied and already everywhere. these are tracks which belong to production—field recordings, hushed bloating blankets of rusted noise—which collapse into an off-kilter, click-stuck armory of techno-induced beats. this is a work of quiet precision, giving over to messy slur—shimmering, atonal, haunted reveries surge amongst these oiled cores. if industrial music cut its mouth on the factory as its principal musical site, then tracks such as “paradox” and “rupture” are themselves a factory which has been uploaded into a cloud-mountain facility; house-like beats slip into the surface, and are dragged down again by the moaning formlessness of some great and undersea mythology. much of what we hear is transformation—glitch-technics (stuttering past, surgically clothed) writhe over the wavering skin of euphoric synth. if these samples truly do come from literal (i want to say “real”) sites of manufacturing, then they are made to perform within a lucid world of digital manipulation. the release performs the heroic celebration of industrial production—and then narrates its post-modern obliteration. an entire factory complex is crushed down into a single, blankly-blinking bank of computers. the shadowy hand-almond of a smartphone has killed entire regions. the gutty percussion of “tromasis abscissa” is draped around with vocal samples which fade into and out of hearing. echo drills and spit-out shards of fine metal douse this noise yet further. tracks such as “paradox” do what polet does best—accumulate. snares, keys, whispering knifes of sound surge and condense around us. they have no skin. they are entirely not-cthonic. there is some fluted echo of irmhard emmelhainz’ argument that the post-factory, the ruptured continuity of the modern, is an “intolerable dependency,” of “systemic competition and destruction leading to self-destruction, even suicide.” the evacuated factory of subskan’s work is haunted by the conditions under which it was produced; the bleak and crushing indifference brought about by the collapsing of the literal, material factory into bodiless, immaterial flows. put another way, digital music production is wrapped in a death-struggle with the deep and layered prehistory of the analogue modernism which enabled industrial music to “become” in the first place. but still, we find ourselves mired in—and slouching through—its remnants. this is an album as much about the things which led it to become, as much as it is a battery of sonic effects. and in this way, it becomes a seance with its own musical precursors. (owen vince)
subskan discography 10.2k17:
ambidextrous asylums. cd. hymen records ¥851. 2017
sons of retrocity (w/ don quishoote & neptunian8). cd-r. ambivalence snel-04. 2011
repaired. cd. mirex mirex c5. 2004
recoiless. 12". ambivalence lens003. 2002