Blackest Ever Black 39 / UK / 2015
Crack is the new album from Vienna-based trio’s Shampoo Boy. Epic in scale, complex in mood and dazzling in technique, Crack is a momentous achievement from three improvising musicians at the height of their powers. A lived-in and emotionally-charged work, harrowing but energising, it digs deep, deep into the underworld to open up new lines of space-time enquiry. It is also a sustained achievement of arrangement and post-production remarkable even in light of its makers’ pedigree: the harshest and heaviest passages are rendered with a sense of space and richness of detail that is truly otherworldly. Russell Haswell’s astute mastering recognises and amplifies this, and the result is one of the most exhilarating and rewarding entries in the Blackest Ever Black catalogue.