A Call Super DJ set is quite something to behold. Well accustomed to commanding the dancefloor with house and techno eccentricities, Joe Seaton's sets under this alias are refreshingly unpredictable, as captured on his fabric 92 mix earlier this year. Yet where behind the decks flits effortlessly from four-to-the-floor to cuts like Sonique's It Feels So Good and everywhere in between, his output is of a far more distinguished and clear-cut palette.
His latest release Arpo is the second LP incarnation of his signature fluid, ambient, IDM-inflected productions. Like the lineage of painters which form his familial heritage, Arpo is the blank canvas upon which Seaton has crafted an ambitious and indeed accomplished array of texture, of depth, and of colour. As bizarrely visual as it is sonically sublime, it is that disorientating 6am walk home from a club on a frosty and calm winters morning, where strokes of orange begin to seep like ink into a dark skyline.
For the most part, we’re in somewhat gentler territory on the A side before there's a noticeable descent at (the appropriately titled) Arpo Sunk. Though OK Werkmeister is an unmistakably rigid and somewhat claustrophobic few minutes of scribbling woodwind (played throughout the album by his Dixieland musician father), Korals is a daze of gentle knocks and hums punctuated by mellow richochets. Music Stand – perhaps the dreamiest, most harmonious track on the album – sweeps you away with keys, which shower down upon you midway in a drenching, euphoric rush.
Yet there’s an edge to Arpo which, akin its predecessor Suzi Ecto, cuts through the gorgeous, comforting liquidity of his production. Here, the metallic scrapes on Out To Rust and the flitter of synths against a more foreboding abyss in Trokel hollow out that warm and wonderful weirdness of your post-club stroll home like twinges of anxiety. Elucidated in the title of lead single I Look Like I Look in a Tinfoil Mirror, off-kilter beats are matched with an equally off-kilter mind.
It’s this very mixture of moments of lucidity and daze which make for such an absorbing experience. This abstract, ambient liminal space to which Arpo transports you is steeped in the idiosyncrasies of his sound, where rhythms and melodies are as smoothly and as subtly intertwined as they are deconstructed. It is a masterful release from an artist whose ascent continues to excite and inspire.
Words: Josie Roberts