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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Zeller - "Turbulences"

Artist: Zeller
Album: Turbulences
Year: 2010
Label: Tympanik Audio
Genre: Technoid, Dub
Website: www.myspace.com/zellerone

Basics: It's really cool to see that Genetic Selection put out a new album. Wait, what? This isn't Genetic Selection...oh, shit. This one is some guy name Zeller who seems to like Genetic Selection a lot. The space themes, the technoid sound with gritty production. Zeller, however, fuses it with dub. This is his second release, apparently, after one on Hymen.

Good stuff:

-artwork. I really like the art on this; pictures of very cool mechanical things (even though every  panel is nearly the same shot), with beautiful overlaid blue. Very futuristic, which matches the space theme of the titles. I also really like the Zeller logo which is part name, part fortress
- style. Even though I implied this was a Genetic Selection ripoff, this guy actually has a pretty unique style. I don't listen to a lot of dubstep, so maybe other people are doing this sound, but I doubt it. He does a really good job of crafting interesting spacey/technoid sounds & melodies and fusing them with deep, pumping, dubby bass sounds. A lot of the melodic/a-melodic stuff reminds me of old video games, so the nostalgia is sort of nice and the sounds are neither 8bit nor cheesy which is also nice. The tracks are complex, with many different elements coming and going. I am a percussion junkie and this one delivers. This style is really something I'd expect to hear on Ant Zen or Hymen.
-not boring. To be honest, a lot of dubstep bores the hell out of me because it's just a bassline and a repetitive beat. This, thankfully, does not take that quality of dubstep. "Turbulences" contains interesting and quite diverse percussion and bass, which successfully capture the swing-y groove that everyone loves about dubstep. The tracks have a large amount of things happening within them and they will keep your brain much more entertained than a Caspa track!
-atmosphere. I don't think atmosphere is necessarily the focal point of this album, but he does do a solid job of building up a dense, dark futuristic atmosphere. The more/longer you listen, the more it makes itself evident. At several points throughout the album it feels like you're on a space station in the middle of a galactic war. There are a couple of more ambient (or maybe I should say, less bassy and percussive) interlude tracks that, in their brief lifespan, bolster said atmosphere.

Bad stuff:
- production. my main negative critique of this album is the production. It's not terrible (ok sometimes it is, like on 'Starship Weapons Kit' when random really loud annoying sounds come in), but it's not great. Overall, it's a bit muddy and doesn't have the big, clean, modern production that seems to be the par for most dubstep. Like I said, it sounds like Genetic Selection, and this comparison carries over to the production as well. GS didn't have terrible production, but the music I'm referencing came out 5-7 years ago, and, as such, it sounds dated today. If you like that old, rough, quasi-chaotic Ant Zen sound then you won't be disappointed, but I think it could've sounded better with a little cleaner mixing (cleaner low end anyway...the distorted bass i think is what mucks it up).
-same-y. This is a pretty long album, trackwise, with 16 of them. After 5 or 6 tracks they start to blend together. He uses the same type of percussion, melodic elements and style of bassline in more or less every song. While that gives it consistency and the "zeller sound", it also can cause boredom.


An interesting album which sounds like it would have been released on Hymen (imagine that). That Hymen "sound", imo, is completely hit or miss and this is not a miss. Check it out if you like the following things: space, technoid, dubby basslines, hymen records.

Overall Rating:

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