Artist: Pan Electric
Title: Step Out
Label: Liquid Sound Design
Released: 7th December 2018
This new release from Matt Coldrick features a combination of new productions and re-works from the past, such as his first single under this moniker ‘Shadow Hunters’ on Flying Rhino twenty years ago. I must admit I was blissfully unaware of this production at the time and it wasn’t until 2007 I picked up on tracks from ‘Conscious Pilot’ on a One World Music podcast. At that point it was an instant purchase and remains a firm favourite. So I was pleased to see a couple of the tracks given a fresh lick on here.
The album begins with the title track ‘Step Out’ which at just over 13 minutes combines piano, lush ambient tones, Balearic guitar and a fitting vocal hook which work in phases throughout the track maintaining the interest. The next track ‘Half World’ adds a few more minutes entwining elements of dubbed out electronica, folk and at times sounding somewhat akin to Eat Static around the time of the ‘Implant’ album.
The album continues with a more typical length on ‘Rhythm Is A Sense (Quarter World) where a shuffling rhythm is over layered with spoken samples and ambient dub like tones and bleeps. Following on is the 2018 version of ‘Rising Slowly’ one of my favourite pieces from ‘Conscious Pilot’, this version retains everything that I loved about the original, the vocal harmonies and blues guitar licks that give a nod to 70’s prog rock, Matt just adds suitably placed dub echoes and a deeper bass. This is followed by the album mix of ‘Sweet As Rain’ where African vocals are layered over electro-folk which absolutely maintains the laid back atmosphere of the album.
We then move onto the aforementioned Fractal Kiss re-mix of ‘Shadow Hunters’ which is probably the most uplifting track of the album, switching from melodic harmonies to touches of trance. The final piece is the Veena mix of ‘Always A Way’ my favourite from Conscious Pilot. The added vocal sample works well in the sense that I felt I could relate to the lyrics of the original and this now implies could it also apply to artificial intelligence? That aside it works it’s way slowly luring you into the crescendo you know will follow, where the vocal harmonies (which once again harp back to the days of prog rock) work perfectly in tandem with the ambient electronica.
To summarise if your already a fan of Matt’s music then this fresh take on the pinnacle of his productions is subtle enough not to ruin any of your favourites, yet interesting enough to bag a copy as it’s a joy to listen to in it’s own right. For me it’s up there as a contender in my best Chill Out albums of 2018.
Reviewed by Woodzee.