Best Available Technology
About Best Available Technology
As Best Available Technology, Kevin Palmer records hazy, lo-fi electronic music informed by dub, techno, ambient, and hip-hop. True to his moniker, Palmer creates his work using whatever equipment is on hand, which generally includes outmoded drum machines, keyboards, tape recorders, and other thrift-store electronics. The results are often wet and crackly like vintage dub, but can also be as harsh and distorted as industrial. Even at its most rhythmic, BAT's music seems sluggish and detached.
Palmer grew up in Southern California before moving to Portland, Oregon in 1992, when he began experimenting with samplers, tape decks, and other cheap pieces of audio gear. Despite recording countless hours of material, Palmer's first proper release didn't come until 2012, when he shared a split cassette with the mysterious OND TON. It was one of the first releases by U.K. label Opal Tapes, which quickly became one of the most acclaimed sources for abstract electronic music.
From there, Best Available Technology releases appeared on several labels. Some of his more beat-driven tracks were issued on vinyl by Styles Upon Styles (as part of their Bangers & Ash series) and Left Blank (Neon Razor Chain), while murkier, more abstract recordings were issued on cassette by labels such as Further Records (Further Tracks) and Working Nights (Gallery Tape). Astro:Dynamics issued two volumes of tracks culled from Palmer's early cassettes as Excavated Tapes 1992-1999. Two BAT vinyl releases appeared in 2015: a split EP with Morkebla (Go Slumming) issued by Slumdiscs, and a collaboration with BNJMN (De/Re-Constructions) on Astro:Dynamics. A second Opal Tapes release, Form and Void, also appeared that year.
In addition, Seagrave released Warp Purpose, Vol. 1, Palmer's collaboration with Gary James Geiler (Ovis Aurum) under the name Boa. Three BAT releases, all on Working Nights, followed in 2016: cassettes Brute & Blind and Running to You, as well as the 12" EP Twisted Ladder. BAT returned to Styles Upon Styles in 2017 for Exposure Therapy, an LP of mutated hip-hop. ~ Paul Simpson