Music Reviews



Ticklish: Swinging Flavors #3

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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May 28 2016
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Artist: Ticklish (@)
Title: Swinging Flavors #3
Format: 7"
Label: Beat Machine Records (@)
Rated: *****
The 7" vinyl series Swinging Flavors on the Italian label Beat Machine Records, hosting some impressive underground (and sometimes unjustly unknown) bass-driven electronic music makers, got started by Simon/off's Sun People juke-oriented "Flowers", spiced by "Wild Obsession" - a collaborative output by Lynch Kingsley and Block Mameli - and now fostered by this lovely tidbit by Berlin-based producer Ticklish. The original version "Lost" focuses on the repetition of a vocal sample (saying "I've been loved" or maybe "I've been lost") over brushes of bulbous synth-driven hops, junk-style beats, awesome digital drums fill-ins that unpredictable flow into that kind of diamond wheeling piano, which got widely used in chic house, garage and new age before it gets electrified by an enveloping slightly distorted bass and crispy percussions. Antony Williams aka Addison Groove reroutes the energy of the original version along a likewise catchy junk-electro directrix, while listeners opting for the digital release will be delighted by "Redshift", a bonus track where Ticklish dived into a computational pool that he embellished by means of hisses and supposedly masked field recordings (audible when beating got stopped). Keep an ear on this guy.

Oliver Yorke: Helion/Kali

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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May 22 2016
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Artist: Oliver Yorke (@)
Title: Helion/Kali
Format: 12"
Label: None60
Rated: *****
Following his exquisite "Into The Void" EP on Vandal Records at the beginning of 2015, West London-based producer Oliver Yorke - I introduced him on the occasion of a likewise good couple of tracks he released for Italian label Retrospective in 2013 - recently delivered a pair of tracks to Silent Dust's None60 imprint. His skill in handling patterns and bass-driven sonorities without being boring or excessively baroque in a somehow innovative way got highlighted in this output as well. Oliver squeezed a solarized catchy melody into a precisely cut cloud of drums and digital clicks in the opening tune "Helion", whose almost scientific approach to rhythm could vaguely resemble Photek. He decided to venture onto trap-tinged stylistic field on "Kali," where he manages to soak a grinding set of bass bumps and lo-hats into trapping webs of synth sounds, Atari-like buzzing tones and electro- hop's sonic hooks

Syncopix: Benevolence

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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May 15 2016
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Artist: Syncopix (@)
Title: Benevolence
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Syncopix Records (@)
Rated: *****
The appetizer "I Miss You Too", which came just before the official launching of the whole album, mouthwatering many followers of the more "elastic" side of liquid drum'n'bass. Such a title could sound like a declaration of love as well as a statement and the preannounced beloved and highly-expected benevolent act by Roland Bogdahn, better known as Syncopix, got finally served on the heated plate of his imprint. Besides the appetizer mentioned above, Roland explored different styles of the genre over the last years, but it seems he was just preparing the ground for a clearer stylistic definition. The thirteen tracks of "Benevolence" can be reasonably considered the spurt of Syncopix's soul seeking. I wouldn't say he added something new to the genre and in places like the opening "Fast Life", some airy jazzy or almost Balearic tunes such as "Bey-Bey", "Yesterdays" or "Airways" or the almost romantic beat drops of "I Love Her" - superlative vocals, that could let you imagine Jim Morrison on the mic! -, he seems to pedal back (very quickly!) towards that way of rolling beats up by many guests and settles of Hospital Records. The whole tone of the album steps up nimbly through soulful rolling grooves, spongy lush synth-driven patterns and somehow melodic power sliding, that become really catchy when they become punchier and punchier ("Where One Is", "Who You Are" or the perfectly clipped cuts of "Peaceful Warrior", my favourite moment of the album)... An engaging bouncy journey till the cheerfully bright "Happy Ending"!

Quentin Hiatus: Saiyan Spirit EP

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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May 08 2016
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Artist: Quentin Hiatus (@)
Title: Saiyan Spirit EP
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Free Love Digi
Rated: *****
After looking at the cover artwork and checking the title of this new tidbit on his own imprint Free Love Digi, I should ask to the appreciated producer Quentin Hiatus, one of the most forerunning at the moment in the scene of bass-driven music according to many ear responses, if he or his beloved son is a fan of well-known manga series and anime Dragon Ball by Akira Toriyama. Well, he could even have some mysterious connection with some of the inhabitants of Nappa or maybe Vegeta - if you followed that manga, you should say what I'm referring to -, but what really matters to all the listeners, who are thirsting for new sonorities, are the secret weapons and the sonic spells he cast on the two track he included in this release. Named after a solitary and kind-hearted character appeared on Dragon Ball Z, wielding a magical sword and an ocarina, "Tapion" is the first set of chopped electronic beats, flashing bolts and brilliantly executed cuts and could be attached to a muted off vision of the above-mentioned series. The second track "Saiyan Spirit" moves towards more chilled, but likewise whimsical, directions over impressive knots of synth-chords, bumpy chaining and fluffy electronic reverberations. I would label it as a Kaio-ken imbued continuous Kamehameha of Qigong bullets, indeed! Hasshu-ken!

Earl Grey: Dorsiflexsion / Karmic Sprain

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Mar 31 2016
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Artist: Earl Grey (@)
Title: Dorsiflexsion / Karmic Sprain
Format: 12"
Label: Inperspective Records (@)
Rated: *****
The sample of a steamer, a somehow old-fashioned bouncy rhythmical pattern and a looped sampled trumpet sketched melody which adds a more antiquated shadow to the sound - it could let you think a secret amen break in the collection of Marlene Dietrich playing on the gramophone owned by that diva, while listening to this mixture - ignites "Dorsiflexion", the first tune of this tidbit by Mancunian producer and dj Jim Ehlinger aka Earl Grey for Christopher Walton's imprint Inperspective. The track seems to get off the round after the addiction of two percussive elements, but it gradually twists around itself without any real evolution. "Karmic Sprain", the other half of this release, is much more interesting: the tones of grey got added by a pitched synth-organ as well as by a sampled female vocals, which sounds like being in agony, the "narrative" setting got rendered by sampled dialogues of people talking about someone who "doesn't respect anybody" and the element of amalgamation is a really amazing rhythmical pattern - I'm not sure percussions are digital as they are so perfectly designed that they sounds played by "real" drums -. Besides a certain lividity of the sound, Earl Grey's infusion are really delicious.


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