Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Judge Bitch Is The Viper

After waiting for seemingly an eternity we have finally got a full release from Judge Bitch courtesy of Aphasia Records. I've been a fan of this Canadian producer's work since I was first introduced to him about a year ago and am elated to now be able to own my own slice of Judge Bitch's electro synth madness.

This nine track release contains many previous Judge Bitch classics like Thunderground, Working Out In Jeans and Jessica along with a slew of new Judge Bitch experiences. It's a cavalcade of high energy synth drama with an aggressive modern flavour that adds even more dimension to the soundscape.

The Judge Bitch sound is something I instantly became enamoured with, and this album really solidifies this being such an unprecedented concentration of his tracks. The soundscapes venture into darker moods but there seems to always be a bittersweetness attached to the instrumentations and melodies. Nothing ever feels 100% black, musical threats are made and enacted with high energy but this is balanced by an 80s sweetness which lingers in the milieu and strikes a delectable combination of sensations in each track.

This is very pronounced in pieces like the opening track Pacer. The abrasiveness of the percussive track is stabbed with murderous intent while a synth overlay of clear melodies fills the air. It's this bipolar nature to Judge Bitch's sounds that provide a great deal of entertainment throughout the LP. Choked side chains and a rhythmical anger are both familiar devices employed in the Judge's audio arsenal, often at times bringing in a cacophony of disharmonic  disarray but always focussing on the fine points of the story while all about lies in chaotic ruin.

Favourite tracks that I've known intimately over the last year take on a new dimension as their individual chapters now make a full and complete story, adding new dimensions and intentions to their personalities I'd previously been unaware of. The placement of Jessica is flawlessly arranged as moods are taken from the brink back down into realms of sanity but this comfort is then blasted into the stratosphere with the high energy Street Heart. Judge Bitch really hammers through the genres with his sound, and the base elements combine into an all new vision.

If classically styled OutRun is the smooth coastal drive in a high speed italian sports car into a neon sunset then Judge Bitch's OutRun is more inclined to be a gear grinding dustbowl pursuit in something not dissimilar to the vehicles in Mad Max 2. A most definitely post-apocalyptic discord is running at high speed through the majority of the album and even the more ambiant pieces, like Time Crimes, have broken and cannibalised parts serving new purposes.

But there is always the bright 80s spark setting the ignition point in each track. The instrumentations can even bend into ChipTune territory and still contain a neon heart pumping 80s energy through the experience, which is ever so beautifully done in the titular track Viper. With all this variety in the sounds the back end of the album sees just a bit more experimentation to my ear, perhaps this is due to the newer tracks finding Judge Bitch's craft evolving in new directions? If anything this adds even more intrigue to the album as the progression of ideas add more details to the stories being told.

As I listen more and more to this record and take in it's many moods I really appreciate the work that has gone into this release. Some of these tracks have been in my psyche for twelve months, but now they make more sense and their purpose feels truly realised. It's a testament to the producer that a year's worth of work has been so lovingly formed and shaped into an experience that makes you sit up and take notice. Judge Bitch has arrived and his music speaks for it's self.

Aphasia Records presents Judge Bitch's Viper LP on their Bandcamp page here and this album comes very highly recommended as a new vision of 80s sounds, stripped raw and then rebuilt like a diesel powered cyborg, ready for action and hungering for victory.

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