Music Reviews



Tresque: Vai e Vem

 Posted by Stuart Bruce (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Jun 06 2018
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Artist: Tresque
Title: Vai e Vem
Format: 12" vinyl + Download
Label: Care Of
Minimal techno infused with an attitude derived from musique concrète, “Vai e Vem” is a five-pack (one track digital-only) of rumbling but soft sub-bass kicks, electronic pulses, smooth-edged digital-industrial atmospherics and a confident steadiness.

Rhythm patterns play inbetween each other, in fairly complex, mildly brain-taxing and DJ-unfriendly ways on tracks like “Tre Cavalli”, while “Cikade” initially starts with simpler layouts but shifts abruptly into more interesting 12/8 patterns part-way through. “Mwen Se Be” borders on the forgettable, overshadowed in purpose by its predecessors, before mellower track “Tendresse” adopts a more atmospheric flavour, with a bell-like looping tone that’s the closest the album comes to intersecting with melody.

Bonus track “Afoxç” is a distinctly harder affair, with more emphasis on the industrial sounds and just hints of Underworld-esque notes in the slightly more driving rhythm pattern- I can see why it’s only regarded as a bonus track but it’s got a different kind of strength.

It’s an almost entirely sub-bass workout, minimal to a fault, and it’s hard to imagine anything going much deeper whilst remaining audible. This will appeal to fans of Monolake, The Field or some of Autechre’s softer moments will definitely find an appreciation of this.

Eliezer: The man from 94

 Posted by Stuart Bruce (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Jun 01 2018
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Artist: Eliezer
Title: The man from 94
Format: 12" vinyl + Download
Label: Unterman
The debut EP from Tel Aviv-based Eliezer is an EP made up of two original tracks and a remix of each. It also marks the first release for the Unterman label. And it’s a debut that’s polished and competent rather than outstanding.

“Frani” is a steady house groove over which squelchy synthwavey noises gradually twiddle their way across. The rocky, aggressive spoken word sample feels to be at a higher energy level than the rest of the track and ends up a little disconnected, save for when it’s being cut up and played with. Gabriel Ferreira’s remix is a stripped-back and deeper affair that turns those cut-up vocal parts into soft percussive tones sparsely sprinkled over a thick kick and simple throbbing bass.

“No Tears” is also a little darker, a moodier synthwave affair of long pads, sustained strings and analogue arpeggios. The Naduve remix is quite faithful, brightening the rhythm up a bit and adding a decidedly 80’s bass sound but falling very close to the tree as remixes go.

Confident and leisurely, it’s a nice pack that shows promise rather than brilliance.

DVS NME: Neural Chain

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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May 31 2018
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Artist: DVS NME
Title: Neural Chain
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Ukonx Recordings
Rated: *****
Founded in 2011 in France by the electro producer Stephane Bastien which is also active under the moniker of Deemphasis, Ukonx Recordings, after four years of pause, is back on track with its ninth release. After releasing music by Fleck ESC, Micro Control Unit, Deemphasis itself plus a compilation, for its come back Ukonx Recordings picked up DVS NME. At Chain D.L.K. we already talked about the project of Johan Sebastian Bot and also for him this is a sort of come back, as in the latest four years he focused his efforts mainly on his weekly radio program Dark Science Electro broadcasted on Intergalactic FM. After releasing tracks on some compilations, "Neural Chain“ is his newest EP. Available at the Bandcamp page of the label, the EP is a collaborative project with Meta Complex, Franck Kartell and Deemphasis. The first three tracks born from the collaboration with the aforementioned projects and they all sound mysterious, robotic and inspired. The classic electro influences, which are going from Kratwerk to Detroit electro, are there, but they are really well dosed and you’ll find yourself wanting for more. After an appetiser of three tracks, as dessert, we have "Departure“, an original mid tempo tune composed by Johan alone. This track is a mixture of melancholy, mystery and it has a sort of "suspended in time“ feeling. You can check and purchase this really good EP at this link: https://ukonx.bandcamp.com/album/neural-chain

Simple Symmetry: Beginner's Guide To Magic

 Posted by Stuart Bruce (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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May 21 2018
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Artist: Simple Symmetry
Title: Beginner's Guide To Magic
Format: 12" vinyl + Download
Label: Disco Halal
The track titles are possibly the most out-there aspect of this three track bundle of steady house grooves with a variety of sampled and synthetic Eastern flavours meandering over the top, though they’re not without their musical quirkiness.

“Too Much Fun In The Temple Of Doom” is the most characterful of the set, with ghostly feminine vocal sounds phasing in and out over a spoken word incantation that prefaces a very bouncy upbeat peak section, it’s an unusual attempt to bring Indiana Jones-style cod-mysticism into a relatively simple danceable structure, and it works.

On the B side, “Dervish Euphoria” has a slightly rockier beat and a nice gradual build towards a bright arrangement of synth pads and sampled chanting that feels Summery and refreshingly positive, before “Exploding Toads Mystery” is a nice set-up of jungle environment atmos, looped soft tribal drum patterns and sparing use of electronics.

Not sounding as sinister as its artwork may imply, it’s a perky package that flirts with some cliché ideas but comes out with a not-too-familiar flavour.

Sex Judas feat. Ricky: Go Down Judas

 Posted by Stuart Bruce (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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May 18 2018
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Artist: Sex Judas feat. Ricky
Title: Go Down Judas
Format: 2 x 12" vinyl
Label: Optimo Music
Initial impressions of “Go Down Judas” are reminiscent of the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers- cartoon counter-culture heroes accompanied by stoner, laid-back country Americana sounds and low smoke-infused ramblings. But it quickly transpires that this is all just a front, and what’s behind the curtain is a Norwegian-produced funky vocal house album using the comic branding as a novelty theme rather than being truly immersed in it.

So from the second track “The Sorrows Of Young Walter” onwards, what we’ve got here is steady, circa 110bpm lounge house chock quite full of funk-driven synth bass grooves, wahwah guitar, lovely subtle string arrangements, and occasional husky vocal work.

Other influences are sprinkled on top in moderation as well- gentle African-flavoured percussion and vocal noises on “Sidikis Jam”, some lovely late 80’s-style acid and Chicago house style noises on “Candy Darling”, and what I think might be a cheeky Star Trek sample in the squelchy “Let The Power Go”- all of which is slotted into the jigsaw with great care and skill.

After hints of a darker dronier electronica during the intro track, final track “Moving Glaciers” is an extensive atmospheric outro that wraps things up in slightly unusual fashion.

This is high-production-value house music with an almost stereotypical Nordic attention to atmosphere, quality and detail. While it may not have the hook-driven radio hit that would set your heart alight or get onto mainstream radio, if you like your funky house to be of any the finest premium quality and utterly chilled out, take a look beyond the faintly cheesy comic branding and you’ll find a very enjoyable album here.


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