Having released the Fourth World-inflected ambiance of the On Line Vol. 1 comp in March of 2017, the sixth release on Facta and K-Lone's Wisdom Teeth imprint brought in veteran producer Duckett for an ethnographically-informed four-tracker with last July's Gannets for Guano EP. Though first debuting with a series of techy and mnml releases in the early 00s, the shadowy producer had gone silent since 2007 until 2015 with a bubbly headrush return (x2!) to form for Leif's crucial Until My Heart Stops imprint. On this, the lead single off the twelve, the ghost of UKG gets reanimated and shot into the stars, leaving the debris to settle over all five delicious minutes of this future banger.
Commencing proceedings with an attacked-accented tom hit, it's that opening note that gives "Black Sheep" the heftiest oomph in terms of a downbeat as the producer sounds as if he's been caught mid-jam in the middle of an extended breakdown and found a whole plot to chase. Pressurized swung high-hat injections keep a loose sense of time, always sounding as if they'll hit just left of the downbeat as a backing conga line swivels its way up the track's spine, the digital debris choking up the negative space so that the eighth-beat rhythm that marks the end of each phrase sounds like a sheet of quivering white noise. Mimicking the restless interplay of the percussive sequences, an errant kick or two emerging from within the rhythm itself, is the song's see-saw'ing sine waves that turn from one to eight with a single bar's passage, the principal motif circling around a six-note endless return. As light kicked accents appear at the start of the first full minute, the pistons fading away so as to pull the listener deeper within the track's own inner logic that sees the organic and synthetic smushed together and re-shaped into something that comes out different from itself on the other side of the canyon. For all the percussive prizes tucked away within "Black Sheep," it's the endless melodic tweaking--notes expand and contract, aleatoric reverb and echo manifesting as smoke plumes that endlessly vanish in the shadow of an ideal form--that makes its second half and the piece as a whole so engagingly unique. It speaks in all the familiar and known languages yet the syllables are of an unknown order and the phonetics slippery, melodic vowels seeking like out in phantasmic chordal concretions. "Black Sheep" ultimately ends like it begins, infinitely re-multiplying its set variants to force into unrehearsed answers, always 'off the cuff.' It's the kind of track that confounds and contents the listener in subsequent movements, always becoming, never hardening like a modular ball of putty stretched over an exoskeleton of drums.