A reissue of Species of Fishes‘ album Trip Trap marks the first release on Nina Kraviz’s new label GALAXIID. First released in 1996 in Russia, Trip Trap brought Species of Fishes into the mainstream of Russian electronic music but failed to make much reach beyond the domestic market. As such, it makes for a perfect release on GALAXIID, a sub-label to Kravitz’s main imprint трип, which has been set up as a way to give exposure to a range of experimental electronic music.
Certain aspects of Trip Trap have dated since the album’s initial 1996 release- most of the tracks have title’s referencing either computer games or keyboard functions, for example. However, most of the music feels fresh, challenging even, over twenty years after its initial release. The sounds of Trip Trap may well have been futuristic in 1996 but now sound like warped versions of the technology which surrounds us now in everyday life.
Species of Fishes also dismiss much of the formula of traditional song structures found in electronic music. Much of Trip Trap feels incredibly static. In some instances, this works perfectly well, with tracks like the eight-minute-long ‘Health 100%’ creating a brooding, spaced out soundscapes. The darkness of Trip Trap comes largely from how little evolution there is in many of the tracks. Even on the more synthier, slightly more upbeat tracks like ‘Bfg9000 vs. Barons Of Hell’, there seems to be a stillness which creates an industrial, claustrophobic feel that is significantly different to that of either industrial-tech or releases from labels like Hyperdub.
A large part of the interest in Trip Trap will be the Kravitz’s involvement in the project of reissuing the album. However, it would be a shame if Trip Trap is only seen in this light. As a piece of IDM, it has aged in a considerably better fashion to the work of some comparable artists such as the early releases of Squarepusher.
Listen to album track ‘Health 100%’ below.
02. ‘Health 100%’
04. ‘Bfg9000 Vs. Barons Of Hell’
07. ‘The Web’
09. ‘Crash Recovery’
10. ‘Access Depth ‘
Words by Matthew Gibson