Melbourne/Naarm experimental post-punks EXEK are back today with the announcement of their forthcoming sixth full-length album, The Map and the Territory, and its sonically rich lead cut "Welcome to my Alibi," which also comes with an insanely hypnotic and dystopian animated visual by Siobhan McCarthy.
Today, Australian experimental post-punk sextet EXEK — the enigmatic vocalist and bandleader Albert Wolski, guitarist Jai Morris-Smith, synthesist Andrew Brocchi, trumpeter-backing-vocalist Valya YL Hooi, bassist Ben Hepworth, and drummer Chris Stephenson — announce their forthcoming sixth full-length LP, The Map and the Territory, out October 6th on the band's own Foreign Records. There will also be North American distribution of the new album through the ever-reliable Cincy label Feel It Records (The Cowboys, Sweeping Promises, The Drin).
To celebrate the announcement today, EXEK also shared the record's first single, "Welcome to my Alibi," another dose of the band's genre-expansive and sonic collage. The new single also comes with a insanely hypnotic and dystopian animated visual by Siobhan McCarthy. According Wolski, the new single pick up where '90s hip-hop and R&B left off and should carry a hype sticker that reads "smooth, sexy, and a little bit dangerous."
"It came about from mishearing a Baxter Dury lyric, and also developing a chord progression to a certain Mobb Deep track, and seeing where that would take us," Wolski said via email. "Regarding the clip, Siobhan McCarthy has done some designs for us in the past, so we floated the idea of a clip. And she managed to whip out a great animation, in almost no time. Shame it's only a film clip, wish it was a feature-length film."
Originally beginning as a studio recording project for Wolski in the mid 2010s, EXEK conjures up the ghosts of This Heat, Swell Maps, and Metal Box-era PiL, painting an enthralling picture of never-ending studio wizardry with a sardonic din of dubbed-out post-punk tension. Following up last year's Advertise Here, an album that toyed more with a twisted hybrid of krautrock and otherworldly art-punk, The Map and the Territory continues the band's everything-but-the-kitchen-sink creativity, but is best described as "perhaps less ambitious than some previous EXEK releases. In a positive way, obviously," according to Wolski.
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 favourites. 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. Stephenson would also 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. On the flip side of the dynamic spectrum, "The Lifeboats" and "It’s Just a Flesh Wound, Darling" sit facing towards the band's more loud motorik arsenal. On EXEK's latest offering, both the map and the territory are equally balanced.
EXEK's The Map and the Territory is out October 6th on Foreign Records. Pre-order the wax below and purchase it in the states from Feel It Records here.