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Monday, December 5, 2011

Quick Looks 12-05-11

Esoteric Sob - Abnormal Psychology
[From A Tree]
Standard netlabel IDM. Sounds like a watered-down mixture of Amorph, aAirial, Coax, and countless others. Big pads, piano-esque sombre melodies, and clicky beats. Good formula, but nothing you haven't heard before. The pads and melodic elements are fine, if extremely straightforward. The pads can get a little too "big" and eat up the other elements on occasion. The percussion is highly underwhelming - generic, repetitive, unchallenging, etc. Every song sounds nearly identical. There are three remixes featured here, though I've not heard of any of the acts. They are a little more exciting than the source material, but nothing terribly substantial. The Miktek one is the most complex and interesting, as it gives a complete facelift to the original and injects some much needed movement and energy. The Cellar Door mix adds some female vocals, which is neat, but the source drums sound terribly out of place. Overall, there is nothing on this record that particularly stands out; it's just a drop in the sea of free netlabel idm releases. There is potential here though - there isn't anything that is offensively bad about this release. Esoteric Sob needs to develop an identity and build upon that by giving their tracks more complexity and direction - something to stand out from the competition and give people a reason to want to choose to listen to this record versus the other fifty thousand idm albums that they could put on instead.

Tapage - Overgrown
[Tympanik Audio]
New release from the prolific Tapage. I have never been a fan of his stuff, and this album doesn't change my opinion. There are some cool sounds here, but most of it feels too flimsy. Most of the compositions seem to be little more than a pad-ish sound, the occasional melodic content, and some haphazard percussive elements. A lot of the stuff here feels too lackluster and/or random for me to get into - it lacks groove and coherence. I don't really get a sense of atmosphere out of this. I wouldn't recommend it. Everyone else seems to love this guy's work though so who knows. Check out "Xylopax" and "Crab" - these kept me interested the most; if they don't grab you, it's not likely that the other tracks will. The Tapage / Meander album was very good, but this doesn't make the cut.
**A friend of mine just explained the appeal of Tapage to me. He said it's like post-druqks Aphex Twin. I more or less hated druqks...so now it makes sense. That said, if you like the later RDJ/Aphex type stuff, give this a shot.

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