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Kel is the solo alias of Skudge's Elias Landberg, and on Irritant he inaugurates the Tanstaafl imprint's Planets sub-label, supposedly intended to showcase "the music that orbits the core members of TANSTAAFL". With label co-head October having previously released on Skudge Records, Landberg's appearance on the label makes total sense. Those who are familiar with Skudge's work will know what to expect, but in Landberg's hands alone their analogue hardware seems to take on a more urgent, exploratory quality; the title track's synths bristle and chime against a rolling drum beat, while "MKS" sees languid textures pushed forward by a panicked rhythm. "Traces" is the most Skudge-like thing here with its unmistakeable dub chords, but it's not something that causes the release to suffer as a result. Highly recommended.
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