It’s e-dub of the highest order and the production techniques are perfected. Some like and some don’t. I think it’s simply masterful!
“Shipyards and Engineering Co. Ltd.” is the album that followed the twelve-inch with the same name that was released on DUB recordings in 2002. The album contains the tracks from the single release other assorted Phako offerings as well as two videos. It’s not just something for the collectors, because it contains great beats intense electronic music too.
A lovely four track EP by Plod out on Worm Interface, apparently released last year (2002) it didn’t surface in the vicinity of the desert until this year. The EP starts off with the delightful “Fast Forward” containing top-class production, excellent beats and an all-around niceness in short it’s a wonderful track. “Sillgrisslan” follows it, containing more heartbreaking melodies fused with carefully selected rhythmic elements, gentler in setting than the opening track and very good. In “Brockmann” tempo is taken down a notch, a down-tempo track with amplitude of atmosphere and straight forward slow beats and accompanied crunchy hand-clap. Fourth and final track “Just A Ride” features more clever beats and warm washes of synthesised sounds. There’re four good tracks on this EP and that should be enough, so if you’re looking for some warm sounds to get you through the winter? The recommendation is to invest in Plod’s “Fast Forward” EP.
A three track live recording made with the sole purpose to archive the audio/visual happenings at the Sintesi Electronic Art Festival, hence the labels name. All the recorded performances were hosted in the XVI Century church of “San Serero al Pendino”. First up is LeafcutterJohn and his contribution “Untitled” starts off with an exploration of sound and I guess the particular audio characteristics of the venue itself makes it hard not to. After the off and on wild excursions the composition moves onto an upfront dub number. Retina.it’s “Lost in the Church” is also set in dub mode, the difference being that they get straight to the minimal point and thereby overcome the desire to fully explore the audio characteristics and concentrating on their hypnotic groove instead. This group is also featured on the DSP compilation Avatar 41° and which was reviewed here in 2003 Last and third recorded performance is signed Terrae and what beautiful compositions they are. Gentle glitch fused with awesome atmosphere, the two part track slowly but surely builds as more and more sonic elements are added. The incorporated elements get the reverb treatment under the supervision of a minimalist mind. Terrae is also featured on the DSP compilation Avatar 41°, which was reviewed here at Electronic Desert in 2003. Sintesi Archivio is an interesting concept and by the sound of it a successful event. The CD also contains video footage, still pictures, music files, interviews, etc. collected at the event. Excellent bonus stuff! Apparently the second Festival takes place this very weekend, 5th-6th Dec 2003!
Excellent full-length follow-up to “The Laurel EP” the first Colony Productions release that incidently also featured Crunch. Apart from 10 excellent bass ladden crunchy electronica tracks you get remixes by: Funkstörung, Bit_Meddler, Evac, L’usine ICL, Skoptic and Crunch. If you liked “The Laurel EP” and the full-length release “1″ on Music Aus Strom I strongly recommend you to get your hands on this CD. That was 2 is there more to come?
A compilation from the influential Funkstörung label Music Aus Strom. And it is excellent, but with the participation of: Metamatics, L’usine ICL, Xela, Adam Johnson, Autophonic, Funckarma, Michael Fakesch and Mr Projectile you can’t go wrong. At the time of the release most of the tracks where unreleased, and now some nine months later the situation is almost the opposite. Nevertheless this is most likely the best compilation released in a very long time. They’re top-tunes from top-producers and a show of force for the re-emerging MAS camp.
Some beautiful pieces of music that the accomplished Lackluster has put together on “Wrapping” the latest full-length delivered by him. One of the last releases if not the very last release on the reportedly terminated defocus label, who brought us among other things last year’s brilliant “Enveloped” album by Esem, the awesome “Ikae” 12-inch by the same artist and last but not least numerous Lackluster releases. Lackluster displays a wide range of his production skills on this 14-track album, all, which are very warm, atmospheric and beautiful. At times some influences are more noticeable than others, the starting track “In Passing” is leaning strongly towards the special brand of Lackluster house-rewiring that is a integral part of his sonic signature. “Gid” starts off with nice echoed and slightly retro melody for intro and continues building up towards steady beats. “Close Enough” has a soothing melody and plenty of warmth a down-tempo piece. “Too Loose” is an extraordinary beautiful track, powered by simplicity and melancholy. “Flitter” is a beatless floating and atmospheric track and it is followed by “St-00″ with more up-tempo beats and fantastic melodic elements and bassline and the intro! The list of good tracks just goes on and on and to say that this album is well balanced would be an understatement. Great gentle and warm stuff delivered by Lackluster!
This EU release on the Pause_2 imprint is a full-length album entitled “Warm Math”. The album contains twelve tracks of down tempo hip hop influenced beats, carefully constructed melodies and slight retro feelings. Not necessarily a bad thing and there’re plenty of examples of that on the album. For example the opening “Retro” [sic!] with hip hop beats and gently sounding melody, the second track “Gerp” with more complex beats, but the same gently played melody. It is followed by “Rilly” that has obvious house influences and it’s a soothing piece of music. “Said” contains a steady beat alongside a large variety of retro sounding melodies and “Salva” develops along the same lines. But at times the retro inspiration in sound choice and use and lightness of the compositions get overwhelming and the overall effect is somewhat negative, because they give the tracks in question pure pop characteristics. For example the aptly named “Chorus” with its simple beats, suggestion of manipulated vocals and synth washes or “Puerto” that has a compelling down tempo rhythmic structure, but is drenched in synth extravaganza. “Sm” is reminiscent of “Rilly” in its house influences but is an even lighter composition. “JJ3″ is decidly retro sounding reminiscent of the classic B12 school of thought, but it has a body and adds some weight to the album. “Secret Track” is not all that secret, but it is a gentle down tempo number with some nice micro tempo changes. “North” follows along the same path, but decreases the tempo a little further and contains obvious references. Last two tracks “Eusday” and “Gerpient” concludes the album. Nevertheless EU got a unique sound and they are obviously highly skilled artists. “Warm Math” is not as strong as their mini album “Reframing” previously released on Pause_2 Recordings. However this offering is well balanced and works as an album. Is it a new destination for EU or is it simply a small musical detour? Time will tell and whatever the outcome, it will be interesting.
“Tabl F” sets of this four-track 12″ entitled “Cycliph” released by din and produced by Arovane. It starts off with contour-like beats and intriguing tempo shifts fused with delicate melodies creating contrast. Along the progression of the track the beats are solidified, ending the track as the sole remaining element. Good stuff. Soundscapes and glitchy elements create the foundation of the melancholy struck “Driad” – is it beautiful? Yes, very much so. A nervous sounding very short intro leads to forward moving beats where the melody eventually pushes through the heavily manipulated vocal parts. “Vraiil” is a collage like track, which is expertly executed. Highly functional and slightly dry beats and basslines characterises “Evlecc” the fourth and last track. The ultra deep subbass interacts with the lighter elements of the melody in a beautiful way. This Arovane release may not be as readily accessible as arovane2 or his previous efforts, but it is just as good. The forthcoming album release is a welcome one and my guess is that it will be highly interesting one, at that.
The second release from yet another Dutch label and this time around it’s ON records’ responsibility. A four-track compilation with three familiar artists and one less known, but I’m sure he soon will be: Adam Johnson. The rest of the artists are household names: Quench, Autophonic and Mr Projectile. “Bungy” by Adam Johnson starts of the compilation in style setting beautiful, warm and forward moving surroundings. Mr. Projectile offers the bubbly remix of Oublique called “Dextroamphetamine”, some really nice stuff, the track that is. Autophonic gives you the retro sounding “Kendu” with drum-patterns, synth washes and played bassline to go and thus handles the other side’s first track. Last but not least Quench’s “Clan” and once again the amazing Funcken brothers pulls it off and delivers a piece of premium grade music, down tempo, crunchy and atmosphere filled in their characteristic style, pure bliss! It’s fair to say that ON’s second compilation is on par with the first one and that the future adventures of this label are highly interesting indeed.