Like the gleefully evil sister of EVOL or Russell Haswell (who coincidentally mastered this album), instrument builder and producer Ewa Justka has brilliantly and belligerently pushed the saltiest brand of sound and rhetoric for half a decade since releasing one of the earliest numbers on Calum Gunn’s Conditional in 216. Now based in Glasgow while completing her PhD at Edinburgh College of Art (after years in London), the Polish artist mounts her definitive album opus with Upside Down Smile, whose title serves as a strong motto for her style of nutty negative ecstasy and hooligan rave energy.
Upside Down Smile was recorded in Ewa’s flat in Govanhill and pays testament to the freestyling hardcore rave sound she’s made her own. Across its 10 trax the formative sound of up-for-it youths across Europe is dismantled and wretched up in wayward arrangements that tilt from grungy slow knockers to a ruthless pelt, punctuated with passages that riff on classic and extreme rave stabs and tweaked with persistently amorphous FX envelopes.
The nuttiest ravers will be in their element with onslaughts such as Mindless Cycles, the fully dilated acid trance of The House Covered in Grape Leaves, and the bruxist special brew As Simple As This, while noise and computer music freaks will get strong kicks out of joints including the tempestuous swells of Something Alive but Unevolvable and the pranging trance riffs of Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe.