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***Australian post-punk sextet EXEK—singer Albert Wolski, guitarist Jai Morris-Smith, synthesist Andrew Brocchi, trumpeter and backing-vocalist Valya YL Hooi, bassist Ben Hepworth, and Chris Stephenson on the drums—deliver their sixth full-length LP, The Map and the Territory.
Self-recorded throughout 2021 to 2022, frontman Albert Wolski describes The Map and the Territory as "perhaps less ambitious than some previous EXEK releases. In a positive way, obviously."
Comprised of eight tracks, there is a greater focus on song craftsmanship, where elongated jams play second fiddle to choruses and hooks. These new tracks will translate effectively into a live environment, and are destined to quickly become set favorites. And yes, of course, the iconic EXEK album soundmarks remain ever present—dubbed out drums, guitars that sound like robots from Forbidden Planet, and deep synths that recall The Idiot.
EXEK once again stay true to their trademark recording process—one of endless overdubs, allowing for maximal control whilst editing. Lots and lots of edits. Drummer Chris Stephenson would perform a collection of beats, that would then be sampled, and therefore plant the seed for ideas for songs. "Seamstress Requires Regular Breaks" might be the best example of this, where fluid jazz-funk drumrolls morph into a rigid post-punk march, and then back again, and then back again. But the funk doesn’t stop there. "Welcome to my Alibi" and "Glow of Good Will" pick up where 90’s hip-hop and R&B left off - smooth and sexy and a little bit dangerous. On the flip side of the dynamic spectrum, "The Lifeboats" and "It’s Just a Flesh Wound, Darling" sit facing towards the group’s more loud motorik arsenal. On EXEK’s latest offering, both the map and the territory are equally balanced.
Previous releases on Castle Face, W.25th, and Digital Regress.