Tabs Out | Machine Listener – Headfooter

Machine Listener – Headfooter

6.10.21 by Matty McPherson

Matthew Gallagher spent 2020 (with a loan exception) outside of Machine Listener tape works. They could be spotted with Luke Gallagher channeling energy into Phaeton’s meditative splash of a tape in November, Biome (Oxtail Recordings). So, it struck with great wonder that Headfooter came with a force at the dawn of the new year. It may have slid under your radar? A low-run Unifactor batch meant it got out into hands QUICK. Way back when I first gave it a shout, I had anticipated something akin to 90’s Warp IDM at 90% off Discogs prices… But that is not exactly the case anymore.

On first go, Gallagher goes deep into noise thrash that damn near clears the house: Machine Listener is back. Suddenly, the tape has gone into the high-propulsive drums, catatonic shock synths, and slither bass of the title track. It’s an addictive energy that “Vechdra (ft. Shokni Mask)” and “The Sun (ft. The Debt Collector)” tap into. They’ve become go-to sounds anytime I’m running Half Life 2 speedruns*. Perfect rhythms to the rumblings of City 17 going on lockdown. It could totally cruise on another 20 minutes of this easy. It seems like Machine Listener had been feeding a bit of that Phaeton energy into the system. 

Mineral Wells is all komische layers going into headphase territories, opening up into the cosmic highway with textures as crystalized as Gallagher’s previous art for the label. Paced as the opener of the B side, it could be the “head” to side A’s “footer.” It’s a space that invokes the communal, as Gallagher summons back Luke with Martha and Roger Gallagher for “Fuzzy Haggis of the Stars,” a soul-soothing lullaby.

*I do not speedrun but I love those videos

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