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DTR | DREF025 – Abstract Division – Metropolis EP (incl. Trolley Route, Function & Marcel Fengler Remixes)

DREF025

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Label : Dynamic Reflection
CAT# : DREF025
Artist : Abstract Division
Title : Metropolis EP
Released : 22 June 2015

01. Metropolis
02. Metropolis (Trolley Route Remix)
03. Metropolis (Function Remix)
04. Metropolis (Marcel Fengler Remix)

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I came across the new one from Utrecht’s Dynamic Reflection that churn out quality releases time and time again. Credit goes to label boss Paul Boex for such a selective ear. The Dutch label has featured some of the biggest artists going and this release is no exception from the long line of on point material. It features Paul’s own production alias with fellow artist Dave Miller as the always impressive Abstract Division.

The original mix of “Metropolis” instantly proves itself as a pretty laid back, floaty and melodic number, that strolls forward with a dry sub kick and panning open hats. A looping, muted acid lead controls the pace with a deep and uplifting vibe, which evolves at all times leaving trails in its wake that intensify into numerous building crescendos. Adding multiple sound textures really fill out and amplify the track as it progresses with a great sense of euphoria. Easy to get lost in the depth on show here.

Remix number one comes from Trolley Route also known as the rare alias of one Mr. Oscar Mulero, which has been under wraps since 2010. A more hypnotic overall tone appears with a sweeping fx and more electro style on the lead this time, that I also get a more funky feel from if you listen in closely. It has a stripped back aspect about it with a 5am chill-down vibe to sooth the minds of a club audience.

Function steps it up notch with a deep and pounding kick, where he uses the main lead as more of an overtone groove while he adds his own deep, scything synth chords to the mix with some subtle claps for extra satisfaction. Some peaking accents bleep and fade away as it breaks down for a short pause then comes back to the main rhythm then gently disappears from the horizon it seems.

A chunky kick and scuttling textures gets Marcel Fengler‘s take on Metropolis off with more intensity. An urgency that seems hidden in the sub stabs is revealed as they go up an octave which adds a new sense of confidence to the track, then is complimented with dreamy and harmonic strings bringing an overall melancholic feel. Still showing enough energy, it could certainly be used as a highlight in the middle of a set and wouldn’t be a miss as a monumental opener or closer either, depending on your task at hand.

All in all 4 different moods here of superb production, paying homage to the city of Detroit and it’s futuristic soul.

– Reviewed by Jack! Who? for deathtechno.com

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DTR | POLEGROUP31 : Oscar Mulero – Muscle and Mind

DTR

POLEGROUP31

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Label : PoleGroup
CAT# : POLEGROUP31
Artist : Oscar Mulero
Title : Muscle and Mind
Released : 20 April 2015

01. Mind-Body Interaction
02. Dualistic Concept
03. Involuntary Response
04. Anatomical Variation
05. Mentally Induced Action
06. Interrelated
07. Mindful Body
08. 201 Element
09. Mechanical Function
10. Muscle and Mind
11. Mental Causation
12. Unconscious



I’m consistently impressed by the huge variety of the sounds and compositions on electronic albums these days. Especially since you have to concentrate on each track and listen to the whole album to really appreciate it properly, as intended by the artist. After a pretty significant gap of not paying attention to albums at all and even picking out only the most ‘dancefloor’ tracks for DJ use, I now look forward to quality albums more than any other format of release. There’s no cheap hit; you put in some time and you reap the reward.

This is nowhere more true than on Oscar Mulero‘s recent album on his own imprint PoleGroup titled “Muscle and Mind.” The once Madrid now Gijón based artist rightly needs no introduction here and his third artist album (following “Black Propaganda” in 2012) is bristling with assurance, experimentation, power and beauty. This is an exceptional and mature release from Mulero, full of highlights, just a few of which we cover here.

Dualistic Concept” is a pure techno groove. Variations so subtle they are even hard to catch listening at home but put this on a big, quality system and immerse yourself in the sounds, then the intelligence of this production becomes apparent. Insidious percussion writhes slowly in and out of itself, underpinned with tight, thunderous bass and kicks. A beautifully understated break comes almost out of nowhere and the track builds again in waves of shimmering cymbals. A single missing kickdrum drives the pace onwards – heads down, heavy deepness.

The echoing, chiming notes of “Anatomical Variation” reminds me of Gamelan music – the gentle notes for the first few seconds sounding arrhythmic, and then revealing a cohesive, tight pattern. Is that a rimshot beat lending a dose of funk behind the hi-hats squarely in the forefront? The track builds into an immersive, disorienting soundscape that you could lose yourself in for much longer than the 5.38 runtime.

Then we hit “Interrelated.” I don’t think I’ve heard a tune quite like this before. On the one hand its pulsing, laser cut techno and in the other it’s a jangling, dissonant piano riff, full of lazy hot sunshine. Just as you’re getting used to this surprising and perfectly executed juxtaposition, an extended, wispy synth line introduces another element, with doubled kicks and hissing hats building the crescendos. As with many tracks on this album, the atmosphere and tension is expertly wound up and released. Incredible.



The title track features broad strokes of atmospheric synth, lovely bass drops and a broken beat that can either be taken as downtempo or frenetic depending on your mood. Later tracks on the album explore some esoteric ground – “Unconscious” and “Mental Causation” especially painting lush sonic landscapes that seem rooted in nature rather than electronics. For the rest, you need to go and find out yourself and enjoy your own experience!

If you know Mulero then you won’t need convincing with words to buy this album. If you don’t, then this stands as one of the defining productions of his career, and certainly one of the most significant releases you will see this year. In either case it’s unmissable.

Muscle and Mind” is available from the PoleGroup bandcamp page on vinyl, CD and Digital.

– Reviewed by Stuart Ingram for deathtechno.com

PREVIOUS REVIEWS :

CLICK HERE – RLPS001LP – Relapso – States Evolution
CLICK HERE – EDR006 – Complicit – Drome (incl. Annie Hall & Plane Shifter Remix)
CLICK HERE – MISTRESS05.3 – The Redhead
CLICK HERE – CRG001 – Cleric – Codes of Chaos EP
CLICK HERE – TRP001 – The Deviant Octopus
CLICK HERE – AFK013 – Uncode – Cmtrn EP
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