Tougher than though Gridlock delivers a fantastic album entitled “Formless” is quality music through and through, make no mistake about it. Gridlock chooses to focus on the less furious side of things and have managed to compose an album that is intense, beautiful and filled with atmosphere. “Formless” is yet another great album out on Hymen.
“Condensed” is a brilliant collection of tracks taken from singles made by the equally brilliant Lusine. You get the excellent “Chao EP” released by Mental Industries that contains a superb Crunch remix, a track from the Delikatessen 10″-series, a track from Jip’s “1st Year”, Lusine’s offering to U-cover’s “Perspective Fragments” compilation and much more. 13 tracks on a CD, it’s out on Hymen and there’s not much more to be said on the subject.
“Science/Fiction” is the debut album for “end” who’s released three tracks previously: “global media engine” for Hymen’s Masonic “tea” (with speedranch) for Planet Mu’s the Cosmic Forces of Mu and “are you normal enough?” remix for Snog’s Relax into the Abyss also on Hymen. Starting of with string arrangements and fast paced beats of “Eclipse of Reason” that also got a dramatic break included. It’s reminiscent of the master Tupilaq’s work, and that is a good thing indeed. The second track “Immeasurable Distances” is a track filled with atmosphere and bass, bass, bass alongside haunting soundscapes. There’s a healthy dose of drum’n’bass theory in this piece. And by the way that could be said for a larg part of the compositions on this album. “The Image Economy” is a funny title on a track and it contains fast paced beats contrasted by offbeat counterparts combined with severally cut-up breaks. It’s followed by a 4/4 bass causing damage in “Global Media Engine” moving on via “Simulacra and Simulations” onto “An Elaborate Accounting Hoax” which also contains elements from the d’n’b sphere in combination with rich sound textures. Number seven on this album is entitled “Society of Spectacle” and it is followed by “The Culture Industry” displaying a nice change of rhythmic elements, and showing that the hip hop influenced beats works as well. “Theatres of Memory” has crisp beats, underlying sub bass and a piano based melody riding alongside the beats. The choice of choir for melody creates a haunting effect in the eleventh “Semiopolis” the album is concluded by “Science/Fiction” a nice rewiring of a classic d’n’b formula. This is a nice debut album and it’ll be interesting to see what end will come up with in the future. Hymen is clearly continuing on the path they’ve been following the past five years and it’s a good one according to me. A final note and a bit surprising with this album is the degree of reference that is made to the drum’n’bass genre, however it’s both quite cleverly done as well as refreshing, in one word: well done, end!
Hymen is celebrating the fifth year of record label activities and what better way of celebrating than releasing a double CD? The “Masonic” contains all imaginable music from the electronic music field, exactly in the same manner as this versatile label has evolved during these years. You get it all, from the melancholic to the straight up abusive! In the order they appear and with no other guiding principle than order, commencing with item number one: A2, Neutral, Dead Hollywood Stars, Beefcake, L’usine ICL, Funkstörung, Imminent, Baracuda, Scorn, Venetian Snares, Frz & Blue Baboon & Etero Expandum Club, Fourplay, Solar-X and Sonic Dragolgo. The order of appearance on item number two is the following: Gridlock, Xingu Hill, Lilienthal, Bochumwelt, Substanz-t, Starfish Pool, Noosa Hedz, Somatic Responses, Xanopticon, K_chico, Red Sparrow, Llips, Trifid Project, End, So Fucking Jazz and Fanny. And to single out some tracks in the high quality breakbeat vain of things on the first item: 1.04, 1.05, 1.06, 1.08, 1.09 and 1.11. And to single out some more tracks in the high quality breakbeat vain of things on the second item: 2.01 – 2.08, 2.12 and 2.14. If you like breakbeat based electronic music then my recommendation is the following: get a copy of the “Masonic” compilation.