Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Animat 'Staring Into Space' Review




Staring Into Space




May 2015

Staring into Space is a new collection of tracks from their last two releases. The E.P. 'Zero Blue ' and the album 'Music For An Unstable Planet' came out on the Mareld label in 2014 and included tracks and themes from the Sheffield based duo's acclaimed soundtracks to John Carpenter's 'Dark Star' and Sylvian Comet's 'Belleville Rendezvous'.

The album commences with the Robin Hexstatic mix of 'Horsehead' where atmospheric dreamy synth sounds fuse with deep bass notes and a driving beat. It's a lovely combo and sets the album off in good stead. This is followed by the darker plodding intro and self explanatory vocals of Pioneer Species take of 'Hum Humans Hum' which leans towards 70's space themed discoid funk in places but has a very dub reggae feel overall.

Keenya's atmospheric ambient take of 'Dream Dot TV' has the right mood and pace of a stereotypical space movie. It might not get you dancing but it certainly conjures up the feeling of floating in space. Mechanist's mix of 'Recovery Time' moves up a gear and returns somewhat nearer to Hexstatic's style of fusing dreamy synths with a more driving beat. Although this piece dips more into ambient beat-less breakdowns, when the beats present there's plenty of tribal rim-shots and snares.

Input Junkies manipulation mix of 'Target Practice' is a choppy take that places focus on the drums. It's almost like a drum & bass piece that's never allowed to take off and personally I didn't dig it at all. James Murry restores the calm with a classical feel to his version of 'Elgans Alba' with plenty of cello string and a touch of piano.

MCTHFG brings his blend of 80's sci-fi and dub reggae to 'Outsider Inside' resulting in a mash-up akin to traditional sea-side organ music meets the Mad Professor. While E.R.S. delivers a slo-mo dubbed out funk full of distorted vocal samples, sparse drum rolls and fx with his version of 'Bone Dry'. Midnight JJ completes the release with a dreamy progressive dub of 'Horsehead'.

There's certainly some lovely atmospherics and sounds within this album and I liked a lot of the tracks in their own right. However, I found listening through the album continuously it's a bit too dis-jointed in terms of pace and style. However, that said in this day and age you may not play an album from start to finish and the tracks could well fit into different sets depending on your mood.

Reviewed by Woodzee.


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