Category Archives: Music

Subsynthesis.com: Bass From Above Vol. 2 Review

Date: Sep 27, 2011 (Tuesday) TheUntz.com

by Jake Krzeczowski

subCompilation albums are a tricky beast to tame; many times a string of solid tracks can be upended by the wrong mixture of artists, sounds, or theories. With their newest release,Subsynthesis.com shows that they are very much capable of putting together a package that can be entertaining from start to finish. A thirty-three track behemoth of an album, Bass From Above: Volume 2 is a beast in itself, listeners may want to stretch and prepare themselves before delving into the flowing throb of electronic masterpieces that live up to the album’s namesake.

When I first got the album I wasn’t sure where to start, the massive track listing a daunting undertaking, in itself. As is customary I just dug in from the top and began rifling through the beautiful mixture of highs and lows the album provides the listener. The album itself is the second in a series produced to raise money for the Japanese Red Cross in response to the devastation caused by the tsunami. The previous Bass From Above raised over $1000 for the fund. For a small charitable donation, it’s worth grabbing the album, which is bursting with talent.

“Bass Freaq” by artist Protohype is by far my favorite song off the album. The song reels you in as you may expect, using thick bass rhythms and grinding dubstep to latch you to the music. Well-placed samples accentuate the compositional impact of what Protohype has put together here. Letting the synth roll at points he works the bass in slowly before unleashing it full speed, which may cause your back button on your iPod to get a bit worn. All in all “Bass Freq” really became my interpretation of the album. For an album called Bass from Above, this song definitely feels as though it were sent from the heavens. Protohype recently finished up a string of shows on the west coast in Arizona and California.

For sample-happy electronic listeners, the Love and Light duo of Probiotik & 4Centers (Matt Madonna and Ryan Anderson) provide a funky remix of the Doobie Brothers classic tune “Black Water” mixed in with a host of synth measures and dub beats that turn a classic into a club banger.

Also satisfying that blast from the past is an artistic re-styling of Marvin Gaye’s timeless hit “What’s Going On.”  NiT GriT does an impressive job mixing light and heavy synths with throbbing bass lines, turning Marvin’s tune into something your parents won’t recognize. The transitions between samples, synth hits and bass vibes will leave your head spinning, while Nit Grit tosses in well-placed samples of that melodic voice to keep things interesting.

The tempo gets pushed hard on Project Aspect’s banger of a track, “Let Me See Ya Sneakers Work,” intertwining heavy bass with timely vocal samples and a piano line that would rock the listener to sleep if it weren’t for the plethora of sounds that also pump from the headphones. Listening to this track I had a hard time keeping my head still, the rhythm keeps the song going while the piano guides the listener safe and sound through all 7:32 of the track.

For a funkier beat sample I would turn to Pairadimez’s track “Fire and Ice,” which is all over the map with hard bass lines, light synths and tempo changes that will keep listeners on their toes for the duration. The Colorado-based duo of ONik and r.e.g.’s ability to pick and pull the tempo is what kept me listening, there being no way to know where the song would head next. These two are definitely ones to keep an eye on, if they produce more tracks like this one they are in for much more success.

The final track on the album, “Fractalfield,” packs lots of piano and is heavy on the bass. Pressing play will make the listener pay attention regardless of whether or not they felt like they had a choice. It literally propels one’s ears on a journey of epic synth rides and throbbing bass lines. Artist soCinematic allows a light piano drop in once in awhile, a bit of relief before the wave rises again and crashes against the ear-drums bouncing the listener back, dangling them on a bass from above.

From top to bottom I was pretty happy listening to the entire Bass From Above: Volume 2 album. It’s hard to pass on the lineup of young artists they assembled such as GladkillSkytreeElfkowitz, and Fast Nasty. With the money going toward the Red Cross and the music an excellent opportunity to listen to a variety of sounds, there is little not to like about the most recent release from Subsynthesis.com.

The Polish Ambassador: Future, Sex, Computers (Remixes & B-Sides) Review

Date: Sep 13, 2011 (Tuesday)

by Jake Krzeczowski

TPADavid Sugalski is the man inside the brightly colored jumpsuit slinging together samples and drum kits that, when taken as a whole, could very well suck you in until the artist known as The Polish Ambassador decides you’ve had enough.

Sugalski’s mantra is “No Genre Left Behind”—and he sticks to his guns. The Oakland producer strings together an electro-funk feel in a variety of tempo changes while infusing glitches, bass lines, and samples that will leave your head spinning somewhere before Solidarity.

Future, Sex, Computers (Remixes and B-Sides) is The Polish Ambassador’s first remix album featuring several artists met while traversing the country. The album also includes three original recordings that round out an otherwise maddeningly interesting album.

As it is, Sugalski’s arrangements take you on a journey, picking the listener up, plopping them down again, and then dangling them—not unlike the late, great MJ’s blanketed baby—before snatching the whiplashed listener back from the precipice. Sugalski’s forte is composing and it shows throughout the album as carefully placed samples accentuate the beat writhing below.

Outside of the three originals, “Concubot” 1,2, and 3, the rest of the album are tweaks to the Polish Ambassador’s earlier album from this year Future, Sex, Computers. The result is a dizzying array of interpretations on the music that lend itself to a more developed sound that is only possible through a combining of unique points of view.

Each of the eleven original tracks from the previous release are redone by producers handpicked by Sugalski, who couldn’t be happier with the end result.
“I couldn’t be more pumped about the producers involved,” said Sugalski on his website. Included in the project were the likes ofPhutureprimitiveThe Great Mundane, and Samples, among others.

What comes of the mixing of tendencies and behaviors is an almost completely new album, reaching heights that could only be had in the fashion of collaboration. While Sugalski brings his Bay-area thematics to his compositions, they are mirrored and countered by the ultra-talented cast he has put together.

The Polish Ambassador is currently on tour with Mochipet, with dates coming up in Colorado, Arizona, and Wisconsin.

http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/v=2/album=2372201515/size=grande3/bgcol=FFFFFF/linkcol=4285BB/

MiMoSA: Sanctuary Review

Date: Nov 01, 2011 (Tuesday)

By Jake Krzeczowski

Tigran Mimosa wants you to feel good. The uber-talented young electronic producer reiterates that very sentiment throughout his new album, Sanctuary. Whether it’s lulling you into a relaxed trance or throbbing you off your feet in a fury of glitches, thumps, and wobble, the artist more notably known as MiM0SA recognized a chance to expand the realm of his music, and does so by exhibiting his signature distinct sounds, while not being afraid to experiment with new styles.

“Castle in the Sky” is a reggae-infused groove that demonstrates Mimosa’s careful sampling and occasional synth rides. While not quite rocking you in to a stupor, the song provides a vast realm of what the young producer can do. The layering of the songs grows increasingly more complex as the tune develops, allowing the listener to quite literally feel the piece come together and watch as other pieces are added and subtracted.

Deeper in the album, Mimosa takes a different sound on to make “Dirty Money.” Employing a throbbing, rippling bass line with a voice over chorus, he takes the listener to another planet with quick snares that climb down before building back to the heavy bass. Not a song I’d put on repeat, but the sound that is culled is mind-boggling.

On “Tiger Blood” the West Coast product takes on a much faster, dancier sound that he fuses with a high-pitched sampling. The whole ensemble builds itself into a fury before taking off to the tune of evolving basslines. “Ice Box” takes things back to a slower pace for a bit while keying on an emphatic use of horns while maintaining a dubstep feel to it.

By fusing many of the tracks with dubstep undertones and glitch over the top, Mimosa is showing the mastery of two distinct methods and transforming them into something wholly his. This comes together while the airy, fun feeling remains as it has on past samplings. Drawing much more heavily classic house and new school juke and footwork, with a strong 808-feel, Sanctuary is much more nuanced than his 58 Degrees EP, a straight up, party-igniting riot comp.

Versatility is a key cog in the music business and with Sanctuary it’s fair to say Mimosa took a chance to put his many talents on display for the world to see, and he did so while accomplishing his original goal of keeping things light. To take such sonic risks shows the hunger that he has to rise to the top of the game. The maturity he’s show with this record is putting him well on pace to do just that.

Mimosa will be playing the Global Dub Festival in Royal Oak, Michigan on November 4.