March 15, 2017
New York native Shawn O’Sullivan returns to Avian as 400PPM with debut LP, ‘Fit for Purpose’.
As an artist, O’Sullivan has long since explored the juncture between hard-hitting, functional dance floor material and more lofty, conceptual work. From a purely structural standpoint, the artist’s return to Avian bears all the hallmarks of previous output under the alias, utilising the same palette found on early EP’s for Guy Brewer’s label. Stripped back and driven, the music marries caustic drum-machine polyrhythms with warping, pitch bent leads and characteristically atmospheric use of reverb. It’s a decidedly dance floor offering, but the music comes refracted through O’Sullivan’s own lens, with plenty of elegant references to a career spent exploring much of the Techno genre’s periphery, from Noise to New Wave.
Whilst O’Sullivan might be quick to shrug off the intellectualisation of his own output, in many ways ‘Fit For Purpose’ and the corresponding imagery work to create a space for the
listener to ponder the role of Techno as a genre - its historical relevance both at its genesis and in contemporary society. It is by no means a nostalgic record - at least in explicit compositional terms, rather one that works to capture the sense of unease and hysteria that fuelled, and continues to fuel the vital countercultural movements that have shaped club culture. The LP artwork and sleeve notes feature photographs taken from Ernie Garcia’s extraordinary chronicle ‘Fabulosity’.
While O’Sullivan’s music as 400PPM might eschew the colour and vibrance of some of the unabashed hedonists that made up the Club Kids scene - who reinvented the DIY spirit of punk rock and incorporated Sci-Fi and the circus, there is on the one hand an undeniable sense of both the rising hysteria that comes with the pervasive and unbridled drug use for which the group were as infamous as their outfits and rejection of then societal norms, and on the other, a further anxiety regarding the notion of machine-made music in a contemporary society swiftly approaching a new and daunting technological age.
For the announcement, Avian is giving away 10 locked grooves by 400PPM for free via Bandcamp:
1 – Bølling Oscillation
2 – Metabolic Grift
3 – New Expiration (featuring Rose E. Kross)
4 – Sintered Bauxite
5 – Cladogenesis
6 – Into the Heap
7 – Fit for Purpose
8 – 8.069
9 – Larsen C
10 – Mauna Loa Lows