Slinky, a new album from The Fear Ratio, the collaborative project of Mark Broom and James Ruskin, is forthcoming on Tresor Records. In their first outing since They Can't Be Saved, released on Skam in 2020, they enlist British rapper King Kashmere, who features on two tracks. Where James Ruskin has appeared on Tresor Records for his seminal albums Point 2, Into Submission, The Dash and his recent Siklikal EP, the only appearance of Mark Broom on the label is a 2002 remix of The Golden Apple by Eddie “Flashin” Fowlkes. The duo unveiled this new work and collaboration with King Kashmere in a live show for a 30th Anniversary event for Tresor Berlin televised on Arte, performing amidst a battery of lights and fogged-up refraction. It demonstrated their rough-hewn fundamentals, roving melodies and investigative power, newly advanced by voice.
Death Switch is the first appearance by King Kashmere, savaging questions on segregation and suffering, encoding into our brains the much-repeated refrain - “You wanna know, why they wanna flip the death switch“. Spinning Globe captures Kashmere in a gritty flow over a swaggering beat, bouncing and resonant. This unsanded voice lends an enhanced texture and tension to the highly-processed sonic palette of Broom and Ruskin, accumulating with innate mettle.
Elsewhere, Appi dredges depths as widescreen beats lurk, digital artefacts pave the way to a hauntingly melancholic coda. Lacovset features singer Ella Fleur who has worked with Mark Broom on his solo release Fünfzig. It enacts a pointillist gated vocal alongside dolphin-like percussive communications. On LFIVE, the duo embalms their sonic textures with digital effects that flutter austerely with syncopation in the crosswind of a beat that recalibrates at points. An urgency slowly draws in on title track Slinky through fizzing electronics and fractured drums all corroded. Effem locates a semblance of euphoria, with a trance-inducing release led by swirling arpeggios. Closer KZAP finds the calmest moment on the record, with its wafting, nebulous synths and swamped hip hop beat.
Slinky finds an ever-evolving project, The Fear Ratio shapeshifting by bringing in the voice into their work and continually pushing with their incredibly-effected rhythmic styles and peculiar, wandering synthesis.