Friday, 27 March 2015

Sun:Monx 'Into The Trees' Review

Artist: Sun:Monx

Title: Into The Trees E.P.

Label: Interchill

Released: 23rd March

Melbourne based duo the Sun:Monx (a collaboration between Austero & Opiou) return with more of their guitar laden, glitchy dub and funk sound two years after their debut album 'Power Salad'. With four new tracks to whet your appetite for a new album in the pipeline.

The e.p. starts with 'Rotney Stem Cell' a smooth slinky guitar piece, which would easily slot easily into any funk set and groove a dance floor, with a subtle but effective additional glitch to twist your hips to.

'Lo Keys' squelches the bass deep and low while funky horns spring into action, add a little husky 'Yeah' sample and smooth guitar breakdowns and it's another winner.

The bass riff undercurrent of 'Into The Trees' sounds familiar and works wonderfully with the lush guitar licks before the dub reggae switch and smooth sax … all thrillers and no fillers so far.

The final track 'Run' is more of an outro but as outro's go it's a lovely melodic downtempo gem with contrasting guitar that really deserves an extension.

To summarise this is a well produced fusion of sun soaked dub and funk with a touch of glitch that really hits the spot for me. I'd even go as far to say glitch-haters might re-consider when they hear the Sun:Monx sound.

Reviewed by Woodzee.


Wednesday, 25 March 2015

DISSØLV 'Realms of Passage E.P.' Review


Release: Realms of Passage E.P.

Label: Merkaba Music

Released: 23rd March

Valentin Santana has studied tribal percussion and classical violin since he was 5, as the sole writer and producer behind DISSØLV (a high energy live group which combines live instrumentation with electronic dance music) he has performed along-side heavyweights such as Sphongle and Infected Mushroom. This latest release has changed direction with the focus aimed at exploring areas of mid-tempo concious bass music rather than continuing with their psy-trance and dub-step roots.

The E.P. begins with 'Oracle Iris' a slow melodic number layered over natural field recordings, with areas filled with deep bass injections, tribal percussion, eastern vocal stabs and elongated ambient breakdowns. For me it contains all the right ingredients but fails to hit the spot.

This is followed by 'Royaltea' which opens in an orchestral manner and although the piece is melodic in places it also takes the bass deeper in others. Filled with low horn sounds, gritty twists and Arabic synth sequences it's certainly holding my interest more than the opening track.

'Ascending Sun' is a contrasting track that toys with twitchy deep bass and hip-hop vocal stabs, then drifts into more uplifting chilled dub with a mellow vocal hook that overlaps more and more frequently as the track progresses.

The e.p. closes with 'Entanglement' where the bassline chugs along nicely with occasional deep bass rips nestled amongst melodic keys and rolling layered synth sequences.

To summarise, This new direction works efficiently as a studio production. However, as a live perfomance I guess some of the energy of the act will be lost, replaced with speaker shaking bass (which may well work for some). Overall it's not a bad release but for me 'Royaltea' is definitely the stand out track.

Review by Woodzee.


Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Subaqueous 'Re:Create' Review

Artist: Subaqueous

Title: Re:Create

Label: Merkaba Music

Released: 24th March

As the title suggests this release is a collection of re-mixes from the album 'Tides of Twilight' released late last year. The original release was a melting pot of down-tempo ambience, dub & global grooves and the artists (many of which I'm unfamiliar with) on-board this project further compliment those vibes.

The album open's with Yaima's take on 'Dusk's Dawning' which provides a low frequency ethnic dub-step background contrasting with the light airy female vocals. This is followed by Bogtrotters re-rub of 'Voyage' which again contrasts the light and the heavy in a unique style he calls 'Swamp-Step'.

The Moonfrog re-mix of 'Glimmers' was a bonus track on the original album and thoroughly deserves it's place here as it's a lovely laid back affair with plenty of chimes, flutes and classical strings. 'Subconcious' on the other hand take the similarities of 'Depth of Field' into the realms of bass heavy dub-step. 

Guda fuses ethnic tribal rhythms and tablas alongside reggae and glitchy dub-step with 'The Dissolve'. Whilst Drumspyder's Arabic electronica once again injects a mystic blend of tribal rhythms and strings employing the usual Dharbuka's and Oud to 'Insistent Shades' with impressive results. 

Anchor Hill take an instrumental approach with their version of 'Dusks Dawning' and it's a bit of gem with eastern flutes, harmonica' stabs and guitars layered amongst the sparse bass-heavy contrasts. While Kozmo get real gritty with their low-frequency dub-step growler of 'Phase Shift' 

Skytree has a unique take on 'Voyager' it's almost as if they've ripped it up and glued it back together at times glitchy and others like psychedelic smooth Jazz. HANNAH complete's the trio of 'Dusk's Dawning' re-works on the album which focuses more on the melancholic strings than the previous two. Which provides a slowed down Gypsy feel to the piece. 

Finally Entheo see us out with another version of 'Glimmers' which initially toys with the vocal before releasing it and the result provides a combination of acoustic-pop and sun-soaked electronica.

Overall I enjoyed listening to this release which injects a fresh feel to the more arm-chair orientated original and although theirs a certainly elements of chill remaining overall there's a tad more bass and growl implemented.

Review by Woodzee.

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