Sick of What I Don't Understand, Part 1 by Lucianblomkamp

Release date: October 13, 2017
Label: Different Recordings

Sick of What I Don’t Understand is Melbourne-based multi-instrumentalist Lucianblomkamp’s third full length, and it comes in three parts to be released over the next year. This young producer has been prolific over the last few years, and a listen to his back catalogue on Bandcamp reveals an artist as at home making experimental soundscapes as he is with contemplative and dark bass-heavy trip hop.

At first listen Sick… sounds disjointed. The meagre four tracks that the listener has to feed upon all have a very different sound. There’s an uneasy start with the title track, the name of which the press release says “alludes to the frustration of wanting to reach outside one’s own comfort zone”. It certainly achieves that, as it’s not an easy listen – in the starting seconds of the track a spiky synth riff warns off the casual listener but the persistent are then rewarded momentarily by an uplifting sax and almost Granddaddy-esque melody. This doesn’t last long, however, and an edgy drone underpins the remainder of track’s almost 7-minute play time. It builds from there, with a lively techno beat supported by that throbbing drone.

Second track ‘Crawling’ starts with obvious Massive Attack parallels, using as it does a percussive beat that sounds very like something off Blue Lines. With the laconic vocal of the artist and occasional Vangelis-style synth it’s a great song, my favourite of the four. ‘Nothing’ sits more squarely in the realm of mainstream pop, although still with an undercurrent of trip hop, based around the dusky vocals of guest singer Rromarin and a dancey synth pop beat. Closer ‘Still No’ changes direction again, with an understated jungle beat, almost lo-fi, quiet production and rapping from Trim. The shortest song of the four, it finishes too soon.

On repeated listens the initial perception of this album snippet sounding disjointed fades a little, but I can’t help being sorry that I don’t have more to go on. I like each track on its own, and in a larger release they would probably sit together better. Releasing music in small chunks works for singles, even EPs, which are created to be a complete whole. But Sick of What I Don’t Understand Part 1 has been made to be part of a larger body of work that will no doubt hang together very well when all of the songs are heard in that context.

The tracks on Part 1 are quite different in their sound and the whole thing is over far too quickly for me. From what I’ve heard so far I reckon I’m going to like the overall finished work. Part 2 will hopefully add flesh to the bones and alleviate the wait for the concluding piece to the jigsaw, Part 3. I shall spend the intervening time delving into this intriguing artist’s back catalogue. Good things will come to those of us who wait!

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