TBR: 21st February
National treasure Steve Thompson makes waves with his latest music project. Or is that particles? It depends how you look at it, with digital, CD, and vinyl releases on the way. Not only did Steve Thompson play the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympics, he's also played alongside music giants such as Robert Smith of The Cure and Kylie Minogue. Following from his residency at the world-famous Globe Theatre, Thompson has formed a jazz influenced electronica collective that explores quantum physics. Named after an alarm call from the Apollo 11 computer, life and death situations show us the fragility of existence as it phases in and out of possibility. It's taken three years of hard work to finalise this spacious album, finding a way to express their ideas through sound has involved contributions from Jim Al Khalili, Helen Czerski; Libby Jackson; Aleks Krotoski and Marcus du Sautoy. Utilising a Tesla coil, laser harp, theramin, and a Tenori-On, the sounds of 1201_Alarm definitely bring something new to the table.
The music starts with a prologue. Saxophone and trombone swish through an atmosphere thick with calm. Trumpets add a melody that compliments the brass-wind ensemble. The composition builds, jazz and blues spills over the sides as rhythmic flurries of progressive melody grow and overflow. Then, we listen to computer data, like the dial-up modem sounds, the high-pitched buzzing takes us to a world of computers and technology. A synthesiser buzzes through which provides a platform to hold more brass. Drum patterns smash rock beats as a warmly crackled instrument sloshes chords. The title-track, Hello_World, takes soulful and evocative solos on the sax while bashing a rhythmic progression across a spectrum of influences. Digital effects sneak through the organic instruments to elevate the mix with fluffy and angular sonic emphasis.
Next, is Flim Flam. Birdsong instils an air of relaxation. Wavery synthesiser peels open with jangly bells which strike in a smooth tempo. Seductive, laid-back beats ride out with a warmly glowing static. Melody on the synthesiser tinkles and radiates with strings and interesting unknown sounds. Strange sampled voices speak yet with so much warp and degradation that we can't hear them. Dreamy passages of flowing music shine as piano joins the dance. The harmonies and breathy passages of rhythmic melody repeat in kinetic progressions while odd spongy sounds adjust sensations.
Then, a pulsing melody with a repeating phrase issues a simple scale. This becomes bedrock for drums and synth to knit avenues of layered sound. Brass is added again, the lead instruments summon emotional flags with passing notes and emblems. Bubbles carries a buoyant climate of effervescent and tuneful passages in musical exploration. The underlying dynamic of loose and space-age synthesiser allows for the brass to climb the track like a boulder, taking well grooved paths as well as unlikely angles. The juxtaposition between classical jazz and electronic modernity provides a meaningful milieu.
Surely You_re Joking begins with a viscous jazzy beat. A spiral of synthesised sound descends from the top corners before the brass section begins with more warm and expressive sonic story-telling. A sleekness washes over, heavily influenced by jazz, as the drifting synths break from the coalescence an extra layer of dimensional relevance is formulated. A drum-break ensues, is that Nobel Prize winner Richard Feynman on bongos? I believe it is. A synth volley continues with melodic cartography as the track pinnacles in laughter.
Then, a much more electronic edge is unleashed. A repeating sample of odd squelchy sounds repeats alongside a bass that fizzes and rumbles under its own distorting power. Areas of space open through windows of alienish operations where unfamiliar sonics drift through a focal point of tempo. This builds to a point where a heavy string synth takes over. With powerful drums that carry steady snare, kick, and bass, the synth volley projects laminae of multicoloured potential through a sphere of harmonising elevation. Qbit refers to the data storage in quantum computing and has a dualistic feel as the last half is nothing like the first.
Unbound and loose sounds open the seventh number. The synths build like waves as they wash against the blanket of quiet. Drums, chords, and brass then crash through the window as heavy-duty rhythms crunch the music together. Industrial and thrashy rhythms made of mechanical sounds and fast-flowing melody bash a line through the field of spinning synthesisers. StuxNet journeys through various adventure rides of energetic electronic expression.
Pripyat begins with something more down to Earth. Reverb rich tones from an obscure ethnic instrument flow together with temperate synths. Brass continues to provide its soul as a wistful melody on the saxophone briskly dances through the sombre streets of slow rhythms and thoughtful sonics. Drums match chanting arpeggios on starlight like notes in the background while cinematic bars of composed imploration build a continually shifting house of feelings.
Next, a rhythm is built from the sounds of a touch-dial telephone. The familiar tones loop in a harmonising rhythm which gives sustenance to more dreamy and tentative brass-wind. Digital tones and crystalline synthesiser join in holding up the tuneful humanity as stravaig themes combine their stories. ToastWife sounds great, and its title makes me want one. We now get to a track called Skylife. It's another jazzy schmooze through posturing townsfolk while achieving items on our imaginary inventory. Keyboards, brass-wind instruments, and talkative drums offer a boundless acrobatic through a laid-back saturnalia. Living the high-life never sounded as good as this, did it?
Flow begins with a vocal sample. The voice explains how to be effective while airy synthesisers begin to cast a spell of alluring clarity. Drums begin, their simple beat structure gives rise to more directions of melody on synthesiser and distant brass-wind. Bass squashes a tune with a distinctive tone as notes and rhythm take a hand-in-hand wandering over dreamy mountains. The horizon changes with each footstep, as a dynamic perspective shifts the lines and shadows that surround us. A daydream of digital and human sounds gels in a stateless body of presence in sound.
The final track begins with a saxophone riff that repeats and progresses in neat, short bars. Drums add a bed to bounce on and another mindful synth pad begins to draw abstract orbs in the sonic space. A solo on the trumpet then unfolds, the pull-out pages opening one by one to reveal a length of soul that adds yet more layers of quality to an already worthy production. Motions of sound repeat and change as the progression follows lesser-known paths to the rhythm of the jazztronic backing. We drop a lot of the technology for this last offering, called Cycles, to once more demonstrate the capacity of the brass to shine.
You can visit 1201_Alarm online
Follow 1201_Alarm on Facebook
Listen to 1201_Alarm on Soundcloud
Audiophile Deep Records
TBR: 21st February
Audiophile Deep regular Lewis Beck returns to the label with a smashing new single. Talk is billed as a run-down of all the techniques and styles that make the artist's catalogue of production skill. Taking time to remember the happy faces on eclectic and universally accepting dance-floors around the globe, the music not only explores unknown avenues it also sticks to the rules. Finding the fulcrum in the mix between creativity and predictability is something Lewis Beck knows how to do and with Talk the fact is driven home even further.
It begins with a really catchy snare and kick beat that's warmed up by a slice of high-hat. Polyphonic synthesiser tones mingle in bass-end gestures of movement. Lyrics begin, male and vocoded to a small degree, the voice half whispers and half sings a delicately placed verse. The music overtakes for a few bars, giving rise to bubbling synths that rise and fall. After a second verse, the electronic music riff builds again and is joined by an energetic accompaniment. The pitch-bending whistle jigs on shifting scale positions while the drums keep everything rising evenly. The formula is drawn back to the start, lyrics wash over again to symbolise the beginning of the phrase. As the music progresses once more, an extra bass-synth is squelched in to elevate another side of the music. The composition rises again and uses all of the previous high-points to build a culmination of intention.
The B-side is a Damon Jee Remix of the same track. It begins with a more minimal direction. Sleek and pressurised cymbals shimmer in a steady tempo while ambient background noises rumble and hum beneath. A gradual influx of amplitude works up to the vocal-line which in its stripped down surroundings becomes a lot more crisp and effervescent. A solitary bass pluck symbolises the updraught and as the second verse spills out a symphonic drone builds in dreamy shakes of sound. A bass and drum break opens the music for a spacious volley. Again the vocal is added yet this time it's been sampled and is allowed to echo into obscure reverb. A guitar stroke glissandos through treble-rich strings, building a subtle melody in the after-burn. A new synthesiser is allowed to build, pulsations of driving sound swell and coil in strange wildernesses encapsulated by persistent and simple drums.
Visit Audiophile Deep Records online
and follow Audiophile Deep on Soundcloud
Got a demo? Send it in here.
Lewis Beck is on Soundcloud
TBR: January 31st
For the first release of 2020 from Tommy Four Seven's inspirational record label, Scalameriya re-appears with a brand new EP. The prominent sound designer and sculptor of waves reveals another dose of quality experimental electronic music. Utilising powerful dance music techniques and blending them with mind-expanding sequences of unusual sound, Scalameriya seems to be an ideal choice to kick off the year with.
It begins with a rattling amalgam of drumming and percussive mechanicals. Cymbals and snare mix with distorted and grainy beats which crumble across bars linked with heavy synthesiser. Pulsations of tone rumble down in neatly ordered accelerations. As the layers gather and form a full-to-burst balloon of rhythms and sounds, progression take hold and thrusts elements into overdrive. Heavy and juicy bass lines clatter through rampant drums and flickering insertions of tempo. The music simmers down to let the wailing synthesiser pulse lead the way before the rhythm reasserts itself across the pinnacle of sound. Tainted Voltage is a heavy and hard-hitting blast into retro-esque pounding rhythms.
Red X begins with an array of disjointed beats that tap and roll across a static infused lamina. Collaboratory rhythms inject various angles of tempo that jitter and splice while new sections swell in the under-passage. An electronic surge of powerful vibrations crisp and turn as smashing metallic beats surge through gaps in the sonic sponge knitted by shaped and measured percussives. A continual evolution brims the mix as waves on sonic kinesis lap and swirl through organised movement of sound. Industrial beats slap with orchestral hits as metallic strikes crunch against heavy-duty rhythms. A high dose of temporal climbing frequencies permits the music to scale ever upward as repeating beats collide and shift under collapsing weights of rhythm. A persistent tempo survives as the programmed beats swivel and shift on the mixing desk.
Next, a resonant bass drum pounds through a mysterious film of high-pitched sound. Snares find a position among the mix and add an elevation to the contour of the sound. A faster pace unravels on yet more treble drums as a rumbling electronic pulse builds within the ball of sound. Bass notes throb and dig through thick and dense areas of looped rhythm. A formulation of fast beats which splash and crash across rocky shores meets a slower and gusty movement of air currents that sweep and curl around the static compositional components. Jagged drums and shaky cymbals craft an energetic and growing texture through the mix. A repetitive element of drumming combines with an ever-changing output of peripheral energy represented by tones and electronic distortions. Eidolon takes us deeper and further into the world of bass-led and experimental heavy-duty electronic music.
Neonorb begins with a vocal synthesiser projecting a choral burst into the ether. More interesting and intellectual beats project angular formations in slow moving bursts. These grow and burst into a frantic and high-energy bash into industrial phonics and clattering drums. A wall of rhythm slides through the airwaves with lubricated ease as atmospheric backgrounds swell and self-create ever shifting airs of motion. Resonant echoes hold the sustain as the rhythm briefly fades. Then, like a drawing of a curtain, more shreds of light flow through in instant and brightly focussed rays. A mechanical sounding edge matches sudden leaps and catchy rhythms which alternative and polarise with each passing bar.
It's a heavy EP that ripples with dance rhythms and motoring basslines. Turn it up and let the vibrations run through you.
Find Scalameriya on Twitter
Unnamed Various Artists
Intergalactic Research Institute for Sound
TBR: 8th February
Berlin events hub STAUB are about to celebrate their seventh year in the party business. Putting on unique shows that harvest talent from the area plus well-known stars then billing them side-by-side, these guys have a reputation for making music work. Their ethic of non-commercialised and equal stage-shows means that lesser known acts can be given the same respect and attention as those who pull more weight. This is a great way of doing things, and as many artists are more than happy to appear regardless, the STAUB experience has become a force to be calculated. With this new release, four uniquely blended and mixed tracks garnish a silver vinyl pressing. We're not told who the artists are, leaving the music quite naked.
The music begins extremely quietly. A gust of wind rises from the depths before it translates into a static that sounds like a snare spring. Kick bass then fills the space, which after a few bars is mirrored by an even deeper and dirtier sounding beat. This doubling up of bass drum rides the digital crystalline airwaves carrying a flag of synthesiser. Ambient droning notes gently howl and spiral across the apparatus of rhythm which evolves and grows in branching manoeuvres. Extra percussion builds and adds a distinctive snappy treble to the heavy thudding, this raises a beacon which surges upwards before dissipating. The track kicks in again with a faster progression through motions not dissimilar from those before. Only this time the pace is faster and the plateaux of energy extends much further out to sea.
The next A side track begins with a melodic bass which cuddles itself in soft angular motions. Kicks and hats make an appearance, providing a fast tempo that allows the bass to sit comfortably. New sounds spill in from upturned dishes at the side, slurries of atmospheric synthesiser and vibrating rhythmic notes tingle and illuminate the surging drums. Another bending melody is threaded in, it shifts from tone to tone with an eerie and persistent drone. The drumming settles down to give the thick atmosphere room to breath. As it does so, the symphonic backdrop fades to make way for a thumping progression in the drumming. Blips and pieces stick to one another in ever changing chops of looped rhythm.
We turn it over, and are met with a piercing tone that operates over a jittery kick drum. Anxious atmospheres swirl overhead as the next layer of percussion is added. Rolling snares with a slow rapidity elevate the mood as their amplitude increases. The whistling synthesiser begins to even out into a looping melody and the drumming jump-starts itself into a new phase of persistence. A twangy bassline thumps through with spongy riffs pushing the rhythm into the air. Matching drums and angular momentum in the shifting percussion reveals a multi-dimensional rhythm-fest backed up by drawn out and singing harmonising tones.
The final track begins with a sludgy bass which drops tones into a rhythmic melody. A deep and resonant kick drum props and presses as the progression quickens the scales to fit a double time framework. Heavy bass licks stomp the sections in place as a vocal starts. Disintegrated phonics spliced across the digital effects processor turn the words into abstract instrumentation. This is pulled aside and lifted up by a staggered synthesiser which thrusts rhythmic tones through the middle. Heavy dance inspiring notes plunge the motive into a frantic movement instruction as the vocal-line begins again with rhythmic spoken word.
For those who get the digital version, there are some bonuses for you. You'll find the forth track again as an instrumental plus four loop structures for your own mixing pleasure. This gift to the community will no-doubt result in versions of these beats turning up in all kinds of areas.
You can find STAUB on Facebook
The Intergalactic Research Institute For Sound are on Facebook
How about a professional diploma in party planning and events management? Find out how.
TBR: 17th January
We spend a lot of time in Scotland here at The Electro Review. Thanks to the great sounds that consistently radiate from the people at Bricolage, there's always something to talk about in Glasgow. This week we sit down, relax, and peel open a fresh and juicy LP from Lying Cat. Resting the legs or not telling the truth? Perhaps you can decide that one, this feline philanthropist of sound production dishes out yet more lo-fidelity and experimental sonic designs. This latest work kicks off a no doubt stunner of a year for many perhaps undervalued but never over-rated music producers like Lying Cat. Named after the online experience where we escape the humdrum of reality by building a new one, maybe for music fans like us the abstract audio experience provides the impetus we need to dream.
It opens with the sound of air passing through fast-vibrating material. Squelchy whistles slurp and blow across other distorted sounds. Could it be mud, sludgy mess and dripping detritus? Then, a quick and clever rhythm breaks free, crafting a neat and catchy line through the matrix. Synthesiser tones curl and shimmer underneath, a bass-line that sings and harmonises rumbles across the stereo aligned wall of sound. The muted drumming ripples with electronic power, held back by the filter of patience no-doubt. New tones emerge, bright and vivid bass notes twang which ride across lines of sunny atmosphere. And The Realisation Came That The Flies Were In Your Mouth reminds me that no-one is immune from need for improvement.
Dust Be Just Ill Leaves (Karm) begins with a slicing tone that whistles in a shrill hum. This is joined by abstract rhythms that start and stop in jittery phrases. The loops eventually build a foundation that becomes a spongy bed for more odd sounding injections of sonic sculpture. Waveform and timing combine in strangely angled disjoints which gradually creep along a wall of potential. Melodic percussion bounces in a scale that fizzes into oblivion before reappearing again alongside other vibratory qualities.
Following on, a shrill feedback wails from distant horizons. This grows and carries a rhythm that starts and stops for a few bars before bringing a bass-line to keep it pegged down. Melodic two tone thumps collide with background wavery atmosphere like a mirage of light and heat. Sonic pitches vibrate and dig down like tunnelling lasers which create steps as they go. Warm tones pan out in rivers of luxurious eeriness while glistening corners flicker and dance as the story unfolds. Candle Cove carries a ghostly ambience which decorates a fusion of beats and oscillating synthesiser.
Cats Under Bureaucratic Arrest begins with a fragmented rhythm. Strange clanking sounds almost like trains connecting carriages splatter against shaky beats. A flow builds across dialling blips and wind-instruments which sing out in party-time phrases of free movement. An electro-jazz compendium of artistic mixing creates a room of uplifting and invigorating rhythmic sounds.
Another layer of creamy melody washes over as the next track begins. Keyboards spill glowing chords that rhyme with tonal drums which bounce and snap in a slow tempo. Groove seeps from the edges of this one, and as the percussion progresses, more fun and intellectual rhythmic phrases unfurl. Crunching sounds fill a sneaky space under the passage of composition as various evolutions then cause a distinctive shift in the generational progression. Extra elements now fill voids previously left for thought and a pressure builds in the form of a droning ray of sunny vibration. Acceptable Corporate Walk In Music sounds delicious and puts me in a dreamy state of mind.
The next number begins with a disparate tone which grows to allow a rhythm to unfold. Bass tones rumble on tubular pipes while other ones thud on electronic vibes. Multiple percussion lines merge in a foray of driving motion. Chimes resonate underneath, a dripping and slurping feel grapples with the walls. Various snaking melodics weave patterns in the weft of the bubbling and viscous mix. The Dull Tedium Of Unwanted Symbiosis Erodes Your Will reminds me of being trapped in a system that only wants us for our compliance.
Goodbye The Host ends this remarkable, fun, and inventive album. It starts with tones that draw lines across vast plains of sonic potential. Harmonising fractals grow like crystals as a rhythm section breaks free. Slicing drums with weird twisted effects smash forward through slushy ice as vibrant tones push ever on. New rhythms break, colliding drums and rolling distortion fizz and crackle as frantic melody snakes around with low-bit synthesiser. A vocal sample with crumbled phonics marks a central point before exploratory synthesiser carries the music forward once again. With a crash of mangled drums and a twist of retro-glycerine, the music culminates in a solar flare of digital energy.
Second Life by Lying Cat is available on Bandcamp
Audiophile Deep Records
TBR: 24th January
Dallas is home to many great electronic music producers. Like Chicago and Berlin, the city seems to grow exceptionally talented DJs and musicians. Alongside famous names such as Cygnus, R9, E.R.P. and Maceo Plex, Blixaboy continues to formulate groundbreaking sounds for the world to enjoy. The project by Wanz Dover sweeps across the genre like a sun-dial as each piece reveals yet more talent and ability to snugly fit into all kinds of reputable grooves. This two track release sets the tone for the next decade of Texan sound.
With sunny keyboards that shake and vibrate on vibrant axes, a neat housey rhythm pushes up the tempo. A snappy tappy drum-beat frames a sonic riff of rhythmic notes. Multiple forms neatly pin together in the sound that pokes and prods at the rhythmic flow. New notes and swirling atmosphere creep in the undergrowth while a progressive melodic tempo evolves and expands to fill the space. Digital bass rides the wave, soon becoming the driving force. Electronic drums continue to pound and tap at the eggshells, delivering a spacey and dream-laden exploration of digital sound. Minimal and adventurous, Desert Blaque transfers its forward thinking vibe across several composed programs.
Molo has a different face. A static tone and cymbal pound in unison timing to reveal the start of the music. Bass plucks discern a twisting melody across the limited scale provided. Bouncy notes sweep up the rhythms and gradually evolve into vibrant phrases. As the background notes shine and swirl like starlight the main melody maintains an almost random hopscotch through various patterns. Jumpy and rhythmic, delicately flavoured with subtle atmosphere, this last track has a funky forward facing dance energy.
You can find Blixaboy on Facebook
Midnight Shift and Voitax Records
Two Label Collaboration
TBR: 27th January
As a mark of respect to each other's journey through sound, Midnight Shift and Voitax prepare a tag-team of talent that spans fifteen exclusive tracks. Matching like for like with music composers and formulating unique sounds that lean in both directions, these offerings are perhaps a doorway to one more avenue of electronica that men, women, and children can walk. We can draw the map as they go. By utilising the skills of thirty international label artists to build fifteen individual tracks, this three vinyl release ticks more boxes than we can think of.
Frantic tribal like drum-beats open the record. Vibrating tin and wood percussive notches build a reverberating swell of sound. Sonic sprinkles flavour the build-up with shifting tones before a change in the drumming elevates the energy once more. Hand-drums with skilful flow push a spiralling sonar of synthesiser into the air. This pushes on until it reaches a plateaux where a flat line of intensity follows. Akita from Hodge and Nico transcends into a formidable atmosphere that's peppered with heavy drums and kinetic sounds.
Warmly distorted rhythms open for the next number, Invia and Masha Motive reveal Transfigured. Psychedelic tones shift and shine before a drum and bass style beat surges forward. Wavery glistens of synthesiser streak along the reverberating edges as persistent and high energy drums continue to bash and dig out a trench in the groove. Shifting drum patterns in the breaks give way to a new flavour of tone that whistles in a low key. Astral visions beckon from behind the strange yet accessible music.
Next we are treated to a breathing continual tone which spirals around popping and tapping beats. A vocal like input wafts in with no apparent words, before exploratory drums build the track further. These give a landing ground for a heavy and rumbling bass which drills regular fence-posts into the footpath of sound. Dripping bass drums are added which contrast with high pitched drops like teaspoon on saucer. More abstract vocals are unravelled, maybe there are words in there however after the digital processing into a unique instrument, the lines are lost. Radharc by Arad and Rory St. John is a deep and dreamy throb into mysterious realms of heavy sound.
We visit Cyan85 and Paco Pack now who provide us with 4 ma C-Borgs. It begins with a stabby snare and hat rhythm that's propped up by a wholesome kick-drum. Springy beats then join the party as melodic swirls of tone wobble and shake on the bar. A voice with deep elocution speaks individual and repeating lines across the ever shifting underlay of quick rhythms. Then, a synth which carries the melody into higher realms brings a new level of energy. Something disappears in the background and as the bridge of sound flows up and over the precipice it fins the bass end once more to allow the motorway of madness to flow gently on.
Scattered beats unwrap this next number. High end attack with shakers and snare merge with wooden taps and fizz. A chime begins to penetrate the wall of percussion. Like a repeating mechanical bell sequence, a motif of melody rises from the depths. It culminates in an amplifying swell that's joined by an elastic stretch tone which assists in the elevation to the second gear. Drums and bass play along together with a catchy melody, rhythm matching tone in a hard-hitting medley. Ethnic vibrato strings then add one more layer of personality to the mix. Have you heard of Spiral Galaxies with 2 Cores? Jamal Moss and KiNK have, and they named this track after them.
Pattern Confrontation is next, from Sorcery and Xhin. Spacious rhythms span out alongside strange throaty tones which vibrate like large sheets of metal in the distance. It barks like a didgeridoo and soon is accompanied by more sliding and strange shifting tones. Like a pattern of car-skids and blaring simulated radio chatter, the background sounds burst and roar with digital emulations of pressure. Slower tones join the flow to reveal another dimension to the track. As the quick and powerful drums carry on with their trance-like pounding, another layer slowly drifts in motions of tempered intentions.
A smashing sound breaks open the brief silence to reveal the new mix. Staggering sonics swell and dissipate within building spaces filled with echoes and percussive strikes. A jamboree of drumming breaks bar after bar with invigorated and high-energy patterns. The dynamic allows for a continual motion from various rhythms which bounce from one another among rapid electronica beats of sound. A full on wall of drumming filled with various textures is painted with abstract and kinetic sounds that could have originated in the jungle. ABSL and Simo Cell bring us Put Less. It does have a minimalist sense to it, with drums being the predominant force.
A huge bass rhythm starts the next track. A super-fast tempo with twanging low beats and ticking pops is matched by a synth which plunges in and out of the stereo from side to side. A rhythmic sledge of hardcore and electro barrages the floor with layer upon layer of fast-moving beats. A break gives way to strange vocal-like elements that throat and reverberate in the emptiness. Then, the full stack of rhythm is unleashed again, bringing the energy back to the boil. The Event Horizon is a dynamic and high energy place, it's also the name of this track by Paal and Umwelt.
Kyoka is next and Sorcery is back for another go. This pairing have created Polyprism. It opens with a huge wail of ambient sounds like the trains moving in adjacent tunnels. A beat is brought in, snare and cymbal rattle along a steady bass as a voice speaks across in whispered words. The sounds combine to begin a looping collage of variant sounds. A full-on mix that includes too many aspects to count doses us with a multifaceted adventure into chaos.
The next is less in-your-face. It has a snappy electro rhythm which gives way to spinning sounds and scratchings that push in and out of the room-size. A melodic slow moving train of sound rattles beneath high energy drums and electronic bass-lines. This one has real groove and when given the space, it begins to seep with melody and bass which crawl all over each other. Seventh Continent from Esker and Swarm Intelligence seems to use retro elements to delve into deep and mindful rhythms.
Karabash from Brenecki and Kamikaze Space Program has an industrial feel. Twanging metal-work and rhythms made by analogue machines spurn through the misty vapours left behind by disparate synthesiser. Echo rich percussive sounds repeat in a measured formula as various punchy drum-fills spread their rhythms into the mix. A slender composition snakes through twists of direction as sounds creep in shadows cast by tall and powerful beats.
Next, a deep and glistening tone shines in from all sides. Drums are added, slow and hypnotic beats tread soft steps through a garden of synthesised melody. Strange angles of tonality with shifting inflections and harmonics begin to grow and intensify as more and more sound flows into the mouth of the river. Distorted beats chunter in the background even as the main rhythm section disappears in the fog of distortion. They return after a few bars with more organic tonks on hand operated percussion instruments. L/F/D/M and Veronica Maximova give us Obsolete Vernacular.
We visit the world of Cressida and Makaton to witness Pirates. A bouncy rhythm with tubular dimensions thrusts a quick dancing tempo down. A sneaky hat rhythm tops the layering before solitary notes strike out with harmonised qualities. Abstract sound creations grow and evolve before our ears in strange and cinematic skewers of hand-picked waveforms. Then, a familiar sample breaks open a distinctive energy before the track swivels on its axis and changes direction. The initial drum-flow remains but now the pitch seems to be tethered to a new scale.
A strange space-age spiral sound grows from silence before the rhythm breaks in with a jittery bass drum. Loops and repeating phrases mingle and churn together with high reverb spacing out the sounds. Like footsteps with an awkward gate, the drums move on until something happens. A singular tone breaks free like an old telephone when someone's hung up. Eventually we acknowledge the end of the call and we replace the receiver. Maybe we'd been waiting for that call for days. The tone begins again, and this time a distorted string blazes out in unison, all but briefly. Don't DJ and Harmonious Thelonious give us the dreamy Hambi.
This final number is named after all of you. Superfans by Florian Kupfer and Innsyster winds down the album with something a little slower. Birdsong and sensual beats walk around jungle static and shaking percussion. Ethnic and mysterious additions strike various stringed notes. These lean in and out of earshot as various delicate elements are projected, one at a time. A heartbeat like drum clambers along the mountainside as we drift from the intense and moving sections of this album to this closing chapter.
You can follow Midnight Shift on Soundcloud
and on their Website
You can follow Voitax Records on Soundcloud
and on their Website
Audiophile Deep Records
Out: 27th December
Former radio DJ Bojan Chille Jr. puts down his decks only to pick them up again in a recording studio. With an ear for what makes a great radio edit and for a tune which earns song requests long since its heyday, we are treated to the connoisseur's ideal. Naming himself Mashinski, he releases two fresh and original dance tracks collectively known as Shinjitsu. This debut record from Mashinski paves the way for expertly honed DJ nourishment that stands tall on the dance-floor.
A heavy-duty kick with hand-claps begins the first track. It's called Land Of The Rising Sun. Within the first few bars, a resonant synth strikes down with airy chords which chime and rumble among fizzing static. The persistent rhythm pushes on through the thickness of sound as new vibrating tones begin to shine forward. These rise in amplitude before a quick-stepping hat riff adds a new tempo to the dynamic. A conjunction of melody rolls along with perfectly engineered kinesis while the rhythm section explores various nooks in the ambient structure.
With quick-firing electronic blips and a heady bass drum, the next track begins. A droning synth delivers a strong tone across the top like a layer of radiant and blinding sunlight. Shifting melody at certain intervals gives the impression of variations in the flux of nature itself. As the chords drown out all else from our mind, an extra layer of rhythm is brought in. This new tempo sits on-top and snugly mirrors the initial beats to form a stumbling synthesis of drum and percussion. Wavery warps of synthesiser then fill the voids with astral colours of sound which cause the dough to rise with laser-zaps and rhythmic breaks. Shinjitsu is a progressive and exploratory track which contains a vast space to explore with our ears.
Follow Chille Jr AKA Mashinski on Soundcloud
Rowan Blair Colver for The Electro Review.