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.