Entropeia – EP 2012

coverEntropeia is an experimental dub formation founded in Belgium. The band consists of four members, focusing on FX/ machinery, bass, guitar & melodica and “sample machine”, respectively.

There is a really dark vibe throughout the EP. While present in ‘Hors La Loi’ and ‘Roots Revival’, the quartet really take the Beast out for a walk in ‘Into A Mindset’. This track starts of with a haunting bells-like synth arpeggio, soon complemented by  a crescendo of modified guitar noise and a kick drum that seems to go ridiculously fast, yet binds the other elements cleanly together. If ever there was dub music perfect for a chase-scene in a new HBO-series, this would be it. After a slight intermezzo with more nice sample work (“My mind is a raging torrent“), the guitar revs it up all the way to eleven and the track quickly elevates to climax levels.

In general, samples are well-chosen and show the excellent taste of the owner of the “sample machine”.  Or to complete the sample started previously: he uses his tongue prettier than a 20-dollar whore. (Readers will excuse the profanities, and – to any 20-dollar whores that may or may not be reading this – we extend or sincerest apologies should any emotional damage have been received from previous comparison.)

‘Roots Revival’ finishes up with dub for desolate morning-afters. This track is another showcase of the wide variety of instruments Entropeia uses to convey its moody take on the genre. From classic harpsichord, brass sections, melodica and accordion (?) to high-voltage synth noise: they can do it all.

‘EP 2012′ is an impressive love letter to dub, and if there is one complaint to be made, it would be that the release is not nearly long enough. I could go for quite a few more tracks of the band’s eccentric sound. One can only hope there’s a follow-up LP. Highly recommended!

Entropeia – Hors La Loi

 

Release Page


This review was originally published on netlabelism.com, an online music magazine covering netlabel culture and releases. I was editor for the magazine from January 2011 until December 2014.

Swich Licour – Static Bounce

StaticBounceCoverTwo benefits of online music culture are freedom from traditional formats and increased interaction with the audience. As many people following cc-licensed music through their favourite netlabels, bandcamp or soundcloud are musicians themselves, this interaction can be quite interesting in its own right. A project that aims mainly at the interaction component of the artist-listener relation is Altered Echo. They call themselves a sound mutation project, and I’m very glad to see they devoted their entire approach to publishing music to releasing multiple tracks (or ‘stems’ as they call them) from a single song in order to make it easier to remix and rework the original. Below you can find an excerpt from their mission statement:

“Our goal is to encourage creativity and diversity in an increasingly homogenized and pre-packaged musical climate, […] . We believe that art is a process of collage and mutation that takes place within an individual […] . Taking the idea that art is a process of collage and mutation further, we also have asked that all our artists make available at least some of the source sounds from their work in the form of stems and samples for others to use in their own musical endeavors. We encourage the audience, who’ve been inspired by our artists sounds, to share their creations with us by sending in their work for review and possible publication through our project.”

Everything about the project radiates from this intention to promote listeners to experiment with the artist’s original sounds. Even the album, a short 4-track EP is a whopping 150mb download as tracks are provided as .wav files, presumably for enhanced quality.

The release itself consists of 4 tracks. ‘Sinner’ and ‘Slip’ are dream-like experiments in sound. While that provides a plethora of sounds to choose from in creating derivative works, it does make these tracks feel a bit too much like disconnected fragments being toyed around with. As a result, they provide some counterweight with the more traditional song-like structure of  ‘Rapt’ or the title track ‘Static Bounce’. The latter two are definitely my favourites from the release. ‘Rapt’ delivers jittery percussion/noise over otherwise very soothing synth lines and a 4/4 soft kick. ‘Static Bounce’ feels like the most mature track, and the fact that it is the title track of the EP seems to point in that direction as well. While not really re-inventing downtempo, it does blend the obligatory drum loops, synth lines and distant female vocals in a pleasing way.
When purely viewed as release, ‘Static Bounce’ might perhaps not stand out from the dozens of other similar releases that are published on a daily basis. That being said, all 4 tracks definitely have their moments, which is more than enough for the intended purpose: serve as a base for further sonic experimentation.

So why would you download this release? It’s mostly curiosity, pride as an artist who feels like he or she can deliver something that complements or alters the original while at the same time being a solid track in its own right. A lot of our readers are musicians, so we would definitely encourage you to try your hand at reworking the original sounds. Make sure to post a link down in the comment section (either from soundcloud or the altered-echo website itself if your work gets published). Happy remixing!

Swich Licour – Static Bounce

 

Release Page


This review was originally published on netlabelism.com, an online music magazine covering netlabel culture and releases. I was editor for the magazine from January 2011 until December 2014.