Only last week awarded Best Newcomer in 2012, Mefjus returns with his last 2012 release on Critical Music’s decade-celebrating Critical X sampler. Alongside the crème de la crème of Critical’s back catalogue and a few new tunes, his remix of Kasra & Enei’s So Real is one of the two stand-out tracks of the album: Though at times far too close to Mefjus’ track of that very name, So Real evolves as a crystal-clear polyrhythmic masterpiece of tender fuzz and snapping snare, structural integrity and outer space disco; and shows once more why the Austrian producer deservedly received D&B Arenas laurel crown. The second of my picks from the 16 track compilation is the digital only contribution Contaminant by another rising star on EDM’s night sky, Emperor. Once believed to capture Spor’s abandoned crown, he continues to prove the speculators wrong by simply adhering to his own path. Consequently, Contaminant is another exciting and stimulating hypnosis. Driven by a halftone tension similar to his Critical debut Monolith -yet way ahead in terms of clarity and drive-, the track circles around a rhythmic monad, whose catchiness and simplicity seem to directly translate into the energy that affects mind and body likewise and catapults the listener into the perfect paradoxical state: stunned shaking.
Kasra & Enei – So Real (Mefjus Remix); Emperor – Contaminant (Critical Music)
Mefjus – Far Too Close (Neodigital, 2012) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGuJypZCYrM
Emperor – Monolith (Critical:Modulations, 2012) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpBIqGEQB7M
With the end of the world so close at hand, evolution seems to be a recurrent theme – and as the amassing of fourth parts seems to suggest, it’s about time. Last week we had Shogun Audio’s Evolution Series Pt. 4 (discussed here), this week Metalheadz follow; but whereas the former left it at that, the latter seem still soaked in Goldie’s goal of taking things further and thus come up with The Genesis EP – Part 4. I spare the reader from the immense biblical (or Star Trek) ramifications, enough to say that the EP starts with Mortem’s Iceberg and its either redundant or absurd statement ‘It’s so cold’, though it might be credited to this apparent hermeneutic dispensability that the track generally feels so warm. It might of course be also due to the thin layer of soul, the gently moving basses and subtle drums to create the pleasant and exquisite vibe that pulses through this song. It might also be helpful to know that all the crevices and details of this Iceberg unfold only gradually, so take your time with it and don’t let its superficial unspectacularity fool you: there’s more than the tip to it. Speaking of hermeneutic dispensabilities, ‘I break, you take, whatever I see I attack’ -FD’s leading oddity for the subsequent Break & Enter– might be funny at first, but turns out to be just a little more dull than the rest of the acoustic impression. Admittedly, the track develops in time, but the three minutes until a sufficient level of bearability (and even some degree of funk) is reached are not exactly easy to get over – tough guys might nevertheless give it a try. The next genesidal contribution, What You Need, comes from Prolix and eventually unwraps some fine fuzzy surfing basses, pretty brute drumwork and nice flow: Not the best of tracks, but a nice addition to the more subtle after hour sonic brainbash. Part four of the EP is Quadrant & Iris’ musical rendition of our age, the Anthropocene, though I doubt that there’s that much consistency and style in modern mankind’s circles of repetition as there is in the recurring groove-monads of hollow sub and minimalistic drums of this tune. Its evolvement is evolutionary slow but steady, occasional mutations keep the loop interesting and tension intact. And if you listen close, you might even catch a glimpse of the peaceful and foreboding serenity that rises, when the basses rest.
Mortem, FD, Prolix, Quadrant & Iris – The Genesis EP Part Four (Metalheadz)
The most recent victim to my malign procrastination was IM:LTD’s Rise of the Under Dogs compilation, released last week and on my desktop for ages. How could this happen? In my humble opinion, I blame the deep of the tracks that sublimely counteracted my stargazing. But in all honesty it might also have been the latent intangibility of most of the compilation: Though I can’t really name a bad track, I’m experiencing difficulty to name a really good one. Why? Probably because none of the sub-laden and ever-flowing songs is equipped with that very special something that divides the good from the genius, or -if you will- the mad from the rest (which will often suffice). Probably also because most of the featured tracks are quite similar to each other and thus the overall progression is not as suspenseful as it might have been if everything was different. Probably also because the amount of edgy and memorable midrange basses amounts to little more than zero, leaving the listener with a lot of nice, thick and simple sub and tons of space. But as I mentioned before, none of the tracks is actually bad, and as accompaniment music for almost any activity that enables half-eared music perception the album is great, for all the listed imperfections suddenly become advantages. Yet when it comes to active listening, only one track really passes the dreaded Subsphere trial; but Soul Intent’s Elektronik Angels with its superb drive and structure, high depth of information and edgy sound has truly and rightfully worked its way through the endless burdens and harassments of this revue’s tyrannical quality control. So let’s hope that it finds the way onto the floors too.
Mortem, Soul Intent, Atmospherix, ARPxp, Future Signal, Hibea, Mad Rabbit, Hobzee & Zyon Base, Gunston, Glen E. Ston – Rise of the Under Dogs (IM:LTD)
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