Friday, January 25, 2019

Simple Communication - Marlon Hoffstadt (Midnight Themes)

Title: Simple Communication 
Artist: Marlon Hoffstadt
Label: Midnight Themes
Cat Number: MT006
Genre: Deep House

A1: Take A Moment
A2: Action & Reaction
B1: Open Focus

A trio of tracks that I can only describe as being cut from the same cloth, but with some subtle distinctions. The first two tunes scour the jacking spectrum, from the more dubby (‘Take A Moment’) to the crystalline (‘Action & Reaction’). ‘Open Focus’ stretches the same approach to eleven minutes, which at times allows for a little breathing space and variation. Essentially, however, what we have here are three well-crafted, functional floor fillers with percussive foundations and busy synths. 

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Severance - Mikron (CPU)

Title: Severance 
Artist: Mikron
Label: Central Processing Unit
Cat Number: 01000110
Genre: Ambient/IDM

1: Embers
2: Lyre
3: Oceania
4: Ghost Node
5: Aldergrove
6: Imora
7: Sunken Paths
8: Locus Reave
9: Cast On A Clock Face
10: Marble Cross
11: NyniV

The best and most memorable electronic music is, for me at least, reliant on combining textures and moods in order to create something which, while not always original or groundbreaking commands the listener’s attention. Mikron more than satisfy this requirement on their second album for CPU. Following on from 2016’s ‘Warning Score, this album is a brilliantly assured piece of work from the Emerald Isle’s Corcoran brothers and exudes sophistication along its eleven track lateral line. It’s all those clichéd adjectives rolled into one: brooding, moody, atmospheric to name just three. However, what this collection has above all else is gravitas. I’ve described it as IDM, which feels clichéd in itself, but it fits the bill and, while I don’t want to plagiarise by saying who, or what this music reminds me of, I echo some already published sentiments, and I expect to see this included in more than a few end-of-year lists. So there.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Shocker - DJ Overdose (Turn It Down Music)

Title: Shocker
Artist: DJ Overdose
Label: Turn It Down Music
Cat Number: TurnItDownMusic#4
Genre: Electro

1: Shocker
2: Shocker (Universo Remix)
3: Shocker (Back For Good Remix)

This is portentous stuff, the type of tune you’d have in your head while walking towards some sort of reckoning. It’s a builder which brings in contributing elements patiently and then invisibly melds them to become the sum of its parts. Raw, disciplined power in its original form. The ‘Back For Go Remix’ hollows out the foundations and finds breathing space, it also gains quite a bit of traction on the original, but it’s nowhere near as monolithic. The ‘Universo Remix’ meanwhile, is a dodgy rave stomper which wants to be Beaufort but comes off smelling more of Tesco’s own brand cheddar.

Introspection001 -V.A (Introspection Records)

Title: Inrospection001
Artist: V/A
Label: Introspection
Cat Number: INTRLTD01
Genre: Deep/Minimal House

1: Got It – E_dward!
2: Melancholic Probe In A Sad Space – Matthew Redden
3: Acid Morning (Space Time) – Lorenzo Magnozzi
4: Kin – BCFHBH

I am by no means a fully paid up member of the minimal supporters club. However, I do realize its potential for all out twisted tomfoolery if deployed in the correct way. The high end stuff does my head in though, which is to say the lack of a conspicuous low end aligned to skippy, bollocky percussion leaving a chiasmic hole to be filled by the occasional off-kilter warbly din. None of the tracks here fall directly into this category, although both ‘Kin’ and ‘Melancholic Probe In A Sad Space’ (the title says it all) come close. Furthermore, ‘Acid Morning (Space Time)’ definitely doesn’t, being an aural collage of handclaps, drumrolls, aggressive acid squelches and sonic stabs which wouldn’t sound out of place in Mordor. ‘Got It’ has the foundation, but lacks muscle. All in all, a mixed bag, in which Lorenzo Magnozzi’s tune stands out.

Monday, January 07, 2019

Lonely Tribe - Grass Green (Grass Green Records)

Glass City Sessions - CV313 (Minimood)

Title: Glass City Sessions
Artist: CV313
Label: Minimood
Cat Number: MINIMOOD017
Genre: Dub Techno

A1: Belle Isle Symphonics
B1: Masonic Mystic
C1: Stars Above Elmwood
D1: Two Way Inn
D2: Eloise’s Theme

I’m sure I’m not the only one in thinking that a lot of dub techno is a waste of time. It wouldn’t make a blind bit of difference if I were though, as so much of it seems to be a variation on exactly the same theme: an obvious depth to Basic Channel and a penchant for synth swathes. I hope I’m not oversimplifying things too much, and in the event as coming across as being super patronizing I’d like to head anyone who has bothered to read this off at the pass by stating that although this release falls victim the aforementioned stereotype some of the time, it is a piece of work which constantly surprises and, when properly imbibed, keeps the listener guessing and anticipating until the end. ‘Belle Isle Symphonics’ has the most energy, edge and drama, shortly followed by the no less subtle ‘Stars Above Elmwood’. These are the longest two pieces here, with ‘Masonic Mystic’ as a sort of halfway house, the tempo descends on ‘Two Way Inn’’ to a crawl on ‘Eloise’s Theme’. A deceptively complex piece of work which demands patience from the listener, ‘Glass City Sessions’ peaks and troughs in perfect symmetry and is a very rewarding sonic experience.