Ritual Poison celebrates its tenth release with ‘Pharmakon’, a 16-track tape/digital compilation featuring artwork from long-term collaborator Martin Wollerstam. Wth the label started in South London in 2017 by BufoBufo and Corporeal Face, ‘Pharmakon’ welcomes back various members of the RP family while embracing a host of friends and favourites.
Zodiac Childs and G303 open Side A with the dark, deadly Reese and acid combo of IDM builder ‘Stoor De Zender’. LUXE continues the bumping beats, adding lush pads and vocals on ‘untitled 045’, then Robin Wylie ventures into twinkly-eyed breaks for ‘St Paul’s’, before BufoBufo’s dreamy ‘Distant Lights’ completes the opening movement. ‘When You’re Alone’ by The Something Something Project (aka Kolya and Susan’s Boy) switches the vibe, soaring into gossamer vocal trance, while Local Group unveil a deeper side to their sound, with the trippy breaks of ‘Mandelbrot Set’. Birmingham’s Rawtrachs heats things back up with the 160 pump of ‘Crazy Deep Feelings’, and Five Eyes takes us to the flip via the captivating, ethereal jungle of ‘Hydro’.
On the other side, West Norwood Cassette Library starts via a stomping, chunky remix of ‘Dropping With The Force’ by Escape Earth – an alias of the label’s joint founders. Anna Wall & Corbi return to RP with ‘Space Kicks’, epic piano-led breakbeat house, and Ambient Babestation Meltdown combines with Club Glow’s Borai for ‘The Drum Machine (Must Be Stopped)’, an analogue workout that recalls the heady days of electroclash. Escape Earth’s ‘Self Destruct’ is the sound of bass and breaks in existential crisis, while Corporeal Face’s ‘No Longer Have Respect’ is a breakbeat slammer with cosmic alignment. Almaty’s ‘The Peacock Room’ changes tack, re-grounding with emotional acid, N°’s ‘Sink Or Swim’ is mutant dancehall, swaying for one final dance, then WILES’ ‘King Crab’ muscles out the door and into the cold night air with attitude-infused acid chug.