Archive for the ‘downtempo’ Category

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Late night,  early morning – who can tell? – Deuperium’s superb Telemetry EP makes a bid to colonise both. The brainchild of Northwich-based producer Matthew Lloyd – his debut, in fact – it’s an EP boasting album dynamics: a four-tracker that makes complete – arguably even more – sense when taken together.

Most EPs, for example, your common-or-garden EPs, would start with Why Not? with its 120 beats-per-minute, bossy, finger-wagging acid and electro stylings. This, after all, is the one you’d choose if you were browsing for play-out material on Beatport.

Not Deuperium. Lloyd is playing the long game, and Telemetry kicks off with Together, a distant cousin of Orbital’s The Box that triggers all kinds of minor-key loveliness, as though John Carpenter had composed an unused love theme for Escape From New York. Squiggles of acid gradually toughen up as the track progress, before it slides into Galaxy News, a gorgeous, drifting dream of a track that, if anything, is even more reflective.

And then – and only then – just when you’re in the mood for something a bit more hip-swinging, do you get Why Not?, and it’s great, and it’s followed by XOX Acid, which works the 303 in a downtempo Melbourne-sounding acid workout to see us to the door.

In all, this is a great release for Slime and, like I say, full marks for that track sequencing, which makes this a genuinely rewarding listen in its entirety. Here’s hoping an album is in the works.

Get it here: Juno Download

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Even if Slime Recording’s 50th release wasn’t billed as like ‘Blade Runner on Acid’, and even if there wasn’t a track on it called Deckard, you’d still think of Blade Runner. The transition from the warm, neon-drenched pulses of Gort’s Dream  to crashing waves and the murmur of wind gives rise to sense of synthesised reality, the organic electronics of Oxygene or FSOL’s Lifeforms, replicated and pixelated. Indeed, Future Sound of London are another key reference point, especially their ISDN/Lifeforms era when, like The Orb or Steve Hillage, they were interpreting rave through a wider prism than many of their contemporaries, a vision of dance music that was as likely to include John Carpenter as Underground Resistance.

So, Vausz takes the same approach, only has a broader playing field, encompassing the early prog house of a Sasha and Digweed set, the narrative-driven proto big beat of Sabres of Paradise, the dry clicks of Autechre’s Amber. Neither does he squander what is an exquisite set of references. Taking its name from the Japanese term for biker gangs, Bosozoku is comedown slow, the synths analogue, the melodies used tantalisingly but never to drive the tunes, rather as a counterpoint to immersive washes of sound that link the tracks, making the album into a cohesive whole.

By Reflux, a 10-minute – and still not long enough – slow-burning epic of bubbling 303 and heartbroken synth, the album is in its stride, the hypnosis broken only by Nomurai, where the FSOL reference is a little too marked, an ‘homage’ to Smokin’ Japanese Babe that lifts you out of the album; meanwhile, Farewell to the Master is pure Whirl-Y-Gig, Walk With Me reintroduces 303 wielded with an even more graceful hand than on Reflux, and What Were You Thinking? riffs on breakbeats, introducing a more uptempo end that culminates in the utterly swoonsome 303 epic Return to the Pod Room.

It’s the kind of album they don’t make any more, the kind that got swept aside by the era of the superstar DJ and the club compilation, and then, somehow, sadly forgotten about. But if you yearn for another Northern Exposure, a new Leftism, another Haunted Dancehall, look no further.

Get it from: Juno Download