The emotive and eponymous project from Pete Rogers, of leading drum & bass outfit Technimatic
Wardown is not so much a musical album as a diary of smeared memory; an account of physical, temporal, familial, musical and sentimental dislocation.
Created by Technimatic’s Pete Rogers, the self-titled Wardown project uses his childhood home of Luton as a psychological fulcrum upon which he balances feelings of loss and yearning for the town, for now-passed family members and for the music of his youth which inextricably bound these things together.
"It was my own countryside, and I loved it with an intimate feeling, though all its associations were crude and incoherent. I cannot think of it now without a sense of heartache, as if it contained something which I have never quite been able to discover".
Embodying an ephemeral union with his Lutonian roots, the LP consists of mixtape cuts recorded from his teens, recordings of deceased family, clips from forgotten documentaries about Bedfordshire's rich free party heritage, recordings of brass bands and field recordings of the town-centre. The result is relentlessly beautiful, unashamedly personal and haunted with melancholy.
"Melodies bring memories,
that linger in my heart and,
makes me think of home and such"
Self-consciously littered with these recordings and other, deliberately familiar, samples, it would be easy to categorise Wardown as 'Jungle' in the flavour of early Good Looking / Lucky Spin / DeeJay Recs, but this would be to misunderstand the execution. Wardown is a resolutely modernist project, using these samples as memorial touchpoints through which independent narrative voices are introduced to the fabric of the work, layering a hazy, cinematic quality over the already beautifully evocative music.
Wardown is an attempt to capture what the Germans call 'sehnsucht', an "inconsolable longing in the heart for we know not what". Despite a profound sadness hanging over the album it delivers a collection of exquisitely elegant pieces that explore the complexities of physical, emotional and psychological drift.