Music Reviews



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Artist: Kolectiv / Survey
Title: A Bunch of Notes / Circular Logic
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Plasma Audio
Rated: *****
The fourth ring of Melbourne-based Plasma Audio keep on exploring deeper and more exprimental side of bass-driven music by a couple of awesome tunes. "A Bunch Of Notes", the one by Sam Midgley aka Kolectiv, is maybe not so fitted to dancehalls, but its somehow cinematic dark intro, the perfectly shaped bass knocks and its Tech-hey nuance make it an enjoyable listening experience; the second tune got signed by Survey, the Berlin-based appreciated duo by Hardy Schulz and Stephan Albrecht - I already introduced their good EP "Chop Chop" not so long time ago -, and I can't say they didn't sharpen sonic cutlery on the following "Circular Logic", a quite sinister - but really enjoyable at the same time - mid-tempo tune, which is going to swing many spines, asses, heads and nerves on dancehalls as well. Have a check.
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Artist: Villem & Mcleod
Title: Ain’t No Way / Make Tomorrow
Format: 12"
Label: Warm Communications (@)
Rated: *****
One of the highest-quality (musical) marriage of contemporary drum'n'bass scene is undoubtedly the one by Ipswich-born producers Andrew Wilson aka Villem and Sam Mcleod, who recently puts another drop of firing tunes on Warms Communications growing catalogue. Similarly to other recent stuff by this bicephalous entity, "Ain't No Way" got focused on a rich percussive palette and adventurous dynamics, so that the opening rocky start got enhanced when these guys get it into higher gear before getting a break and keeping on marching again faster and faster over a carpet of whops. My favourite tune of this release came on the flipside where they involved Totem on the fast-rolling liquid breaks and the protective sub-bass-enhanced embrace of "Make Tomorrow". An alternation of dimmer lights and crispy grinding beats drench "Saved You", which comes on digital as a bonus track. The first 100 copies are going to be printed on white and red marbled vinyl for the chromatic delight of more fetishistic djs.
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Artist: Glass Dancer
Title: Demon Dolls (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: House Of Analogue
Rated: *****
After Empire State Human disband, Aidan Casserly didn't lose his time and started immediately to work on a new project called Glass Dancer. The movie director Dustin Ferguson called him for composing the soundtrack for his remake of the 1993 Todd Jason Falcon Cook film 'Demon Dolls' and this has been the perfect opportunity to focus on new music. Composed in two weeks during the October 2014, "Demon Dolls" contains ten tracks included on the movie, plus three bonus tracks. I thought that this was an instrumental album, so I was curious to check what kind of atmosphere Aidan would create without using his vocals and I was surprised when I found out that he sung on "The Raven" and on "Open Up The Gates". Anyway, the album is a good mixture of ambient electronic with elements of synthpop and late 70s/early 80s electronic soundtrack atmospheres and I'm pretty sure you already know the name I'm going to do, which is... Yes: it's Carpenter. Aidan succeeded into creating a dark atmosphere without forgetting the use of catchy melodies and if on tracks like the opening "Dark Sunset" he focus on the ambience to create, on "Doll Intro" or "Dowtown Lament" there are echoes of his past, when he composed instrumental songs for Empire State Human along with Lar. I liked the album and you can find it at the major digital store, but if you want to check it first, you can listen to it on Spotify or Deezer.
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Artist: Cutworks
Title: Soulroot EP
Format: 12"
Label: NexGen (@)
Rated: *****
Stupid and not so far-sighted sanctions against Russia thankfully don't stop circulation of good music from that fascinating country, where there are a plenty of really skilled musicians who makes music in their home studio. Maxim Yudin, the guy behind Cutworks moniker, pushed some interesting stuff on Daniel Clarke's NexGen catalogue from Zheleznodorozhny, a small town nearby Moscow, and this awesome EP shows the brilliant way he manages to melt liquid funk, regular fit drum'n'bass movements and a series of funny sonic dodges to make his track more easy to reach listeners' memory. The noise of a fast running car on the initial "Away With You" is maybe not so original, but the way he shaped a likewise fast rolling track and some sonic embellishment is really good; the straight cuts of the following title-track "Soulroot" got wisely counterbalanced by an elegant jazzy sample, which makes it fitted to futuristic tabarins and could remind some similar amalgamations by some Brazilian and German d'n'b producers, which got hyped up in dancehalls in the first years of new millenium. The slower motions over lush synth pads on "Last Day Venus", my favourite track of the EP - it somehow brought my mind into the notorious ocean of Solaris by Tarkovsky -, and the amazing crossbreed between bouncing computational and vaguely bhangra-banging patterns of "Algorithm" complete this tidbit.
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Artist: General Magic & Pita
Title: Fridge Trax Plus
Format: 2 x 12"
Label: Editions Mego (@)
Rated: *****
Someone could imagine that a synth, a drum machine or other electronic devices should have marked the dawn of most glorious labels of the scene. Some labels actually build their catalogue on the sounds some artists squeezed from specific synth or drum machines, but not so many listeners would surmise that a fridge could have been even more influential than a synth, as testified by this re-release of the very first outputs by one of the most appreciated electronic music label like Editions Mego, whose huge catalogue got started by an EP - "Fridge Trax 12" - and an album - "Live & Final Fridge" - from the electronic music eggheads of Peter Rehberg aka Pita and General Magic, the well-known duo by Andreas Pieper and Ramon Bauer, who entirely made these amazing releases (13 tracks both, but I imagine they recorded more than 13 ones and some could have been left unedited) by processing sounds they grabbed by putting a microphone inside a fridge. I'm not sure they imagined their experiment would have been so influential to the point it can be considered one of the records that fostered the inoculation of abstract sonorities within dance music structures, but all those youngster who are just approaching to the wide world of sound will be so delighted by the funny sonic freaks they made from a bunch of icy and sometimes defrosten sounds that I won't be surprised if a museum will exhibit Mego's fridges or other useful modern electric appliances alongside Mozart's score or Beethoven's comb for the devotional pleasure of future generations. That's a wise way to celebrate the first 20 years of existence of the Wien-based label.
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