Genre: Technoid, Industrial
this release on discogs: here
Freedom is the latest offering from Ex_tension, and it comes to us on a brand new US-based label, Signifier. From the looks of things, it appears that Signifier is trying to follow in the footsteps of Ant Zen (definitely not a bad thing), as the album art is very Salt-esque, and the music seems to be just the sort of hybrid technoid that one would expect from a label like Ant Zen / Hymen. This album was apparently originally released in 2006 and has been re-mastered for its first official release.
+ Cool synths. Ex_tension seem to be fans of using layers of constantly modulating synthlines, such as you might hear in VAC or the psybient genre (Aes Dana, Solar Fields, Bluetech, etc). Some of the synths have a cool middle-eastern tinge to them. For some reason (I guess the repetitive driving beats) this will inevitably get the “tribal” tag, though it really is not; however, I would say it’s definitely got a major psy influence.
- This album is a little too repetitive to me - all the tracks use very similar sounds and go for the same driving, dance-y sound. The press release states this was originally released in 06 and in some ways it shows. The production/re-mastering is good enough, but the songs are kind of simplistic and lack the maturity typically present in a band’s third or fourth release (according to discogs, they have been releasing since 05 or so). I’m not familiar with Ex_tension, but I bet if you listen to some of their tracks from 09 or 2010 they sound more advanced/developed than this.
A pretty good offering from Ex_tension, and a good beginning for the Signifier label. If you are looking for something that combines the atmosphere and synth work of psybient with the driving, gritty, technoid sound of ant zen than you will want to pick this up. Fans of said styles will definitely find something to enjoy here, though I doubt it’s going to be anyone’s favorite album.
Overall Rating: 7/10