Music Reviews

Seba & Paradox: Delusions / Future Now

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Nov 24 2014
Artist: Seba & Paradox
Title: Delusions / Future Now
Format: 12"
Label: Secret Operations (@)
Rated: *****
Secret Operations, the excellent label by brilliant Swedish producer Sebastian Ahrenberg aka Seba, finally added a new drop into its pool by the already tested and approved connection of the mesmerizing style of his owner to the one by the breakbeat juggler Dev Pandya aka Paradox. This forthcoming release includes a couple of good tracks where it seems that they let burble emotions on the liminal zone between lucid perception of reality and emphatical hallucinations: such a process progresses over an obscure voice which sounds like mirroring the resurfacing of awareness from amnesiac depths by means of pulling reverberations of claps, ground strokes, menacing bleeps and worming basslines on "Delusions" and over a carded amen break, masterfully edited breaks and sonorities which seems to blow from godforsaken crannies of the demanding (for future) soul on "Future Now".

Ikonika: Position EP

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Nov 24 2014
Artist: Ikonika (@)
Title: Position EP
Format: 12"
Label: Hyperdub (@)
Rated: *****
Sara Abdel-Hamid, better known as Ikonika, seems to juglle by switching 3D and banging modes on for this tidbit including four good tracks that she conceived for big room parties as dynamics and spacialization of sounds and percussive elements are some of the most prominently playful elements of this "Position" as well as the most original aspect of the release which, all things considered, is nothing new from the merely stylistical viewpoint. The opening title-track dig an acid-house rapid pace from 80ies caves and chopped male vocals repeating the title, the following "Praxis" could refer to the procedure she followed in order to "honey-fy" her sound on her debut album "Contact, want, love, have", while I find much more funny the following tracks "Strawberry Underlay", whose stop'n'go progress is really brilliant, and the amazing "Wakeup Sequence", where she hacked a sort of 8bit Atari-like quacking by means of vintage drum machines, funky melodies and distorted guitar synth. The digital version includes a remix of "Mega Church" by Perc, whose hyped distortion didn't really enthuse me, a nice blunt VIP version of "You Won't Find It Here" and the amazing remix of the same track by Alex Deamonds, who seems to have roughly recorded it inside the room which was adjacent to the one where the party was running before adding a wonky melodies and a repeated "oh" which seems to come from the sore throat of a robot.

Mlada Fronta: Polygon

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Nov 18 2014
Artist: Mlada Fronta (@)
Title: Polygon
Format: CD
Label: Artoffact (@)
Rated: *****
Even if it seems that French producer Remy Pelleschi, the main as well as the only remaining head behind Mlada Fronta, took it down a notch on the occasion of this return after almost a decade of silence and a welcomed oversized refresher by Artoffact that dropped the exhaustive collection "Every Thing" over 10 CDs, this "Polygon" has all the distinguishing elements of Mlada Fronta style, whose seemingly simple structures get more and more haunting by a sort of self-rising organized complexity which could be somewhat summerized by polygons themselves. The above-mentioned quietude of rhythmical patterns could be felt on the tails of the album, whose progression seems to follow a guassian function where some excellent middle tempi, such as "Cvb" or "Flash" where Mlada Fronta sound like flashing listeners by synth-flares from the core of whirling geometrical polygons, get gradually ignited on tracks like "Osc-A", the compelling pursuits of "Cop_magnum bass" and "Night Run" - two of the most amazing tracks - before the chains of control got almost completely wiped out on the hard hits of "Strict Dress Code"; the serpentine electronic straightedges of "Top" marks the moments when bpms decrease - except for the gnarled distorted flow of "Sdk" - and the sound more distinctly starts high-flying till the enchanting final "Ytre", which reunites with the blissful mechanical daydreaming of the appetizer "North Pole". According to Remy's own words, the sound could remind some tracks by Digitalism, the Hacker, Underworld and his fellow country-mate Gesaffelstein, but some moments of the record could be closer to some stuff by Orbital, Crystal Method or the first Daft Punk.

The Invaderz: New Found Dialect

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Nov 17 2014
Artist: The Invaderz
Title: New Found Dialect
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Commercial Suicide (@)
Rated: *****
If you want to have an idea of what you are going to listen on the first album by The Invaders, a London-based d'n'b trio by Darrell James, Leo Grant and the sprawling Matt "Lord'a'Mercy" Lord (guitar and bass of Ladyfuzz, collaborator of Paul Dolby's Homecookin' as well as a member of the appreciated collective Bugz In The Attic), you could trust the title they've chosen for their album, which comes from Commercial Suicide, the excellent and reassuring label by Klute. In the plural, possibly, as they intercepted and explored different speech variates, accents and dialects of drum'n'bass with full knowledge of the facts due to their more than long-lasting militancy in the scene: "New Found Dialect" is characterized by a remarkable variety of style that got packed together in one album, whose stylistical hooks range from Bristolian steppers, stunning connections with 90ies jungle sonorities ("Jungle Life", "Burning Book"), tech-hey monsters ("Bonesaw", "Dream Is Over"), liquefied amen vocal smashers ("Addicted", "Love Vibrations" ft.Dj Marky), classy jazzy tunes ("Jazz Club", "Getting So" and the astonishing title-track tune which features MC Stirlin on the mic) and many voodoo-like sonic bewitching which could let your body involuntarily move such as the uplifting "Feel The Same", "Doublethink" and the excellent denoument on the catchy "True Grit". Such a dialect can convince listeners that they shouldn't limit their vocabulary! and that it's worth improving the consistency of terminology in terms of d'n'b tunes!
Artist: Cristian Vogel
Title: Polyphonic Beings
Format: 2 x 12" vinyl
Label: Shitkatapult (@)
Rated: *****
According to Karl Heinz Stockhausen, a unified time structuring, a wise splitting of sound, the multi-layering of spatial composition and the equality of sound and noise are the "Four Criteria of Electronic Music" in brief and such an eminent conceptualization of music seems to have inspired the last two astonishing releases by brilliant Chilean techno legend Cristian Vogel, who after he moved to Berlin, one of the sacred site of contemporary music of our planet, fulfilled a quantum jump to his already appreciated style by a sort of integration of those principles into eerie dub-driven sonic boxes, which proves the chameleon versatility of this producer after the ambient-oriented album "Eselsbrucke". Some nuances of techno pops up in just one of his eight "Polyphonic Beings" - the amazing "How Many Grapes Went Into That Wine" -, while some technoid residue flow like water snakes in water ducts into a few of them - "Spectral Jack", "Forest Gifts" and "LA Banshee" are the ones where are more audible -, but most of the tracks have a totally different approach to rhythmical structure and sonic textures as he manages to synthesize outstanding hybrid between dub-techno and acousmatics where bright stylistical spots unpredictably deviate from the continuity principle of techno stuff: the sort of elegy that suddenly surface from the above-mentioned "Forest Gifts", the analogue spit-ups that surface on tracks like "Spectral Jack" (vinyl exclusive) or "Lost In The Chase" or the melancholically entrancing piano micro-melody and the shamanic hooks on the final "Society Of Hands" are just some of the moments when Cristian could find the right way to the hearts of more demanding listeners which cannot be considered proper clubbers anymore.

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