The sonic exploits of revered DJ Erol Alkan precede the man himself; his CV boasting a wide range of high-profile encounters within the electronic community and beyond. After some prominent remixes including Klaxons, Daft Punk, Chemical Brothers and Tame Impala, there is an ever-increasing demand for his expertise which, we imagine, continues to blight his answering machine. To the delight of us all, the DJ has found the time to collaborate with Richard Norris for their ‘side-project’ Beyond the Wizard’s Sleeve, officially releasing new single Diagram Girl.
Diagram Girl is a departure from Alkan’s more electronic material, moving into more psychedelic territory with woozy melodies and shimmering production. The track bubbles and spits like a lysergic broth, the vocals obscured behind a haze of distorted effects to produce a trip definitely worth taking (not that we’d advocate anything of the sort). The floating sense of calm recalls the work of psycho-nauts Spiritualized and the Spacemen 3, whose mantra of ‘taking drugs to make music to take drugs to’ drove the music into similar areas.
Beyond the Wizard’s Sleeve have been expanding our collective consciousnesses for some time now, consistently experimenting with electronica on a (sadly) inconsistent basis. As we said, Erol Alkan is a busy man, not only making music with different aliases but also heading up Phantasy Sound Records, whose roster boasts the likes of Daniel Avery and Connan Mockasin. These trippier sounds have often been favoured by the electronic community during their forays away from mixing desks; making electronically-tinged psychedelia presents artists with untold possibilities of sound manipulation which appears to appeal to the DJ/producer fraternity. Diagram Girl is a great example of getting this right.