Music Reviews



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Artist: Autoclav1.1 (@)
Title: Daylight Saving EP
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: Inner Demons Records
Rated: *****
I was unfamiliar with this project, which is the work of one Tony Young. According to his website, Autoclav1.1 fuses “huge orchestral compositions, IDM, Ambient, and Modern Electronica, with twinges of Industrial and Rock; Autoclav1.1 has gained a reputation for pulling on the deepest of human emotions with a variety of melody, frequently torn apart by paranoid beatwork and broken rhythmical structures.” This album consists of two tracks. The first, “The Cost of Light,” is an uneasy wall of synth and low-end rumble that envelops the listener. As the track ebbs and flows along, you get a sense of what the soundtrack to the earth moving would actually sound like. You, unfortunately, will not have the same experience that I had, however, because while I was listening to this the earth actually moved. Yes, there was actually an earthquake in my area and this made an excellent soundtrack to that feeling of motion. Don’t believe me? I verified it with the US Geological Survey and it was a 3.9 magnitude earthquake about 5 miles from me. I live in California, so it happens. “The Free Hour” brings it to a close with a track that brings in dark bass drone and waves of high end tones that make for an ominous feel. This reminded me of Lycia’s work, which is always a good thing. Overall this was quite good and made me want to hear much more of this artist. This album weighs in at around 16 minutes.
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Artist: This Is What I Hear When You Talk
Title: Untitled 0001
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: Inner Demons Records
As I mentioned in the review of the FFI Digital disc, this is yet another project of Dan Fox, the man behind Loss, Fail, FFI Digital, and Inner Demons Records. So how is this different from his other projects? The Facebook page for this project describes it thus: “Walls, of the noise. Variety: harsh. Harsh walls of noise. Noisy, harsh, walls. PSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!” So let’s put in the disc and see what we have. I enjoy noise, but I like a bit of variety in it. This disc consists of one track entitled “PATCHOTRON_S0F0_FX70_≈21.” This track consists of rumbling low-end bass noise. Although the droning feel of it was almost peaceful, I found myself wanting it to do more. The feeling was similar to being on a plane, with its constant, never-ending hum. This may work well for some people, but it wasn’t really my cup of tea. That said, it would be an epic disc to give to someone you were breaking up with. This disc weighs in at 21 minutes.
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Artist: FFI Digital
Title: Untitled
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: Inner Demons Records
Rated: *****
Dan Fox must be one of the hardest working people in noise. As if Loss and Fail were not enough to keep him busy, in this batch of CDs that he sent in for review he unveils two more projects. This one goes under the name FFI Digital. The logic behind this project is explained on the project’s Facebook page: “Experimental music made from scratch in a DAW, using only freeware / donationware plugins. The revolution will be digitized.” So the question, of course, is what this stuff sounds like, so let’s get right into it. This disc consists of one track entitled “180110.” High pitched squeals mix with static, slowly going up and down in pitch. I imagine that this is what an air raid would feel like in your head. As the track progresses, the siren-like sounds take a bit of a backseat as metallic crashes come at regular intervals, giving it a hypnotic quality. As the track comes to a close, the grinding noise that has permeated the track begins to diminish as we are left with a pounding heartbeat over all of it that suddenly comes to an end. There is a lot going on in this composition, and FFI Digital manages to throw in a lot of variety while still keeping an internal consistency that holds everything together. This keeps the track from becoming too repetitive. Well done, and worth checking out. This disc weighs in at 21 minutes.
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Artist: Marlon Hoffstadt
Title: Human Interpretations Part One
Format: 12" vinyl + Download
Label: Midnight Themes
Hoffstadt’s “Themes From My Future Self” was released in January and I called it “short of unique selling points but well-made, smooth mid-set filler”, but now Hofstadt has roped in six of his friends to do remix work on his productions to, you might think, broaden the scope beyond steady, sparse, arguably somewhat flat instrumental house grooves. But it would seem that these friends of Hofstadt’s are friends due to their very similar taste in music, because the breadth you find on some remix EP’s is not being injected here.

Johannes Albert’s and Bawrut’s mixes of “The Power Of Now” both keep things firmly in downtempo techno territory, with slow builds, soft kicks and gently repeating percussion patterns oozing familiarity. The Bawrut mix opens up rather more with a sudden twist of jungle SFX and some riser drama, giving it a bit more of an edge. Opal Sunn’s take on “Chemical Romance” has shades of acid in its built that play nicely against the jazzy smoothness of the soft breakdown.

The second half of the pack is made up of three mixes of “Cycling Since 94”, but surprisingly this is where the most diversity ends up being found. The Gramcy remix is an urgent-sounding bit of proto-techno with a distinctly 90’s flavour, in a good way, while Shun’s remix brings the brighter more melodic elements to the fore. Leaf Troup’s eleven-minute version winds us back to the steadier house rhythms of the first half, but with an appealing vaguely funky bassline that keeps you attracted.

It’s not one of the most diverse remix packages you’ve ever heard, for sure, but it rolls nicely.
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Artist: Whitesquare
Title: In Light
Format: 12" vinyl + Download
Label: Tropical Animals
The team behind Italian club nights Tropical Animals have branched out into their own record label, with this 3-track deep house package from fellow countryman Whitesquare as its debut.

“Limitation” chugs on nicely, a gradually unfolding set of soft beats, plenty of high-end synth pads and arpeggios and a squelchy, classic-sounding acid bass note. The simplicity of it cuts deep, it’s uneventful smooth and pleasant.

“Velvet Room” is a bit brighter, with some meandering synth keys that feel improvised over the top, giving a slightly jazzy touch that replaces the acid. A slightly thicker deep house groove rolls calmly underneath.

“Pressing Points” has a slightly more pulsing synth groove to it, and a catchy and melodic bassline that is the package’s most ‘pop’ moment, but even with that and some soft tribal-like percussive hits don’t raise the energy level too high.

It’s a really smooth, effortless 3-tracker of gentle beats perfect for relaxed sunny days. It lacks the unique selling point or novelty that would propel it any great distance, but if you’re looking for deep house that’s mellow and warm, put this on your radar.
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