The mysterious numbercult label appeared earlier this year with a defining motto echoed in ever decreasing quantities of the techno spectrum: Digital downloads have no material value. Buy vinyl. Yet their approach is much more than a simple reactionary stance to digital music’s popularity growth, it’s a celebration of vinyl’s cultural value, its distinct and lasting tactile existence. The unknown members behind the label also form a collective of artists using numbercult as “…a platform for music production, DJing, generative animation and design; all wrapped around a love of vinyl. We like the idea of using a fluid structure with a collective, bringing together like-minded people in the spirit of collaboration under a single banner,” says representative CB. Little is known about who make up this collective as they prefer to let their combined efforts do the talking and shape an overarching identity. Strongly reminiscent of the Basic Channel or UR beginnings but even more so since these releases are simply defined as released by numbercult.
The Glasgow based label’s releases are limited to runs of 350 copies with the objective to get vinyl in the hands of those truly believe in the format. But as devoutly committed as they are to vinyl they have not neglected those that may not be able to get their hands on them, digitizing them and releasing for free under a creative commons license on bandcamp. So what do they sound like? Brilliantly executed techno with a nod to Detroit and true bang up minimalism. numbercult 1’s “Landlines” is one of my favorites, with a slow progression of rolling percussion, fizzy effects and delayed chord stabs that create a growing tidal pulse that fits nicely against tense melodic structuring. “Code Unknown” from numbercult 2.1 wields Rhythim is Rhythim type strings against frenzied bass line arpeggios and syncopated drum programming. “Skeptic” off of numbercult 2 starts off with dubstep-leaning percussion before jumping off into wobbly bleep and bass contortions and soaring synth led techno. And if the 2 mix compilations of unreleased music on their site are any indication there is plenty more next level sounds in the armory. Check out the current vinyl releases here in the meantime.