Sound Senser EP
With press release promising an EP of ‘emotional content with goose pimple like melodies, held together with electro style rhythms all balanced on a box of perfectly moulded sounds‘ and an artist’s biog which lists some impressive collaborations/projects, it’s fair to say expectations were high before the CD hit the stereo.
Opening with a soundscape reminiscent of FSOL or Aphex Twin, the electro beats of ‘Acoustic Snail’ kick in with a laid back, yet uptempo rhythm. The beats then take a turn for the harder side building up to a sub-techno crescendo before dropping back down to that laid back feel with the delicate, watery synth melody ever present throughout. The tune continues in the same vein building up and dropping down putting you mind of some sort of aquatic chase scene out of The Blue Planet.
‘Ghost’ rears its shadowy veil in the form of more underwater influenced synth sounds set to a back drop of light industrial beats and a sub-dub bass. There are less changes and breaks here compared ‘Acoustic Snail’ and for that reason, what is basically background music, stays firmly in the background, even despite the ‘wake you up’ ending.
More ethereal synth melodies see ‘In Motion’ kick off to somewhat of a sluggish start. In fact, in complete contrast to its title, this tune sees the absence of any beats leaving the only motion in mind of a gently flowing stream, with perhaps the girl from the shampoo advert having a gentle scrub (I know, I should get out more).
However, with noise like a motorbike crossed with someone inadvertently scratching their favourite old 78, ‘Plrkel’ starts with much more promise. The simple drums bash through the mix leaving your ear searching for that subtle synth led melody which, when found, makes this track worthwhile. Add to this a few more trickley water samples, one or two comforting space age burps and beeps and you have something with far more depth to any of the three tunes that have gone before.
Fortunately ‘Fade’ picks up the baton where ‘Plrkel’ left off, giving us more of that acoustic drum sound with probably the EP’s best synth led melody to boot. However, final track ‘Jaw Break’ sees a return to the electro industrial style beats of the earlier tracks with an assortment of seemingly random buzzes, zaps and tweaks laid over the top. In fact at times is sounds like someone very, very pissed has managed to get hold of one of those Rolf Harris inspired Stylophones and then attempted to write their shopping list on it.
Again there is a synth led melody but unfortunately this is lost under all the aforementioned noises.
This is not a bad EP but what it does suffer from is a tendency for all the tracks to blend into one, which is a shame as there is clearly a talent behind this release. A better range of samples, more upfront melodies and a wider variety of tempos and synth sounds would give each tune more character and lift the EP from what is essentially forgettable mood music masquerading as sonic art.
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Written by Fenton on