9/10 Ant Staff review, 09 September 2011
The Swedish duo of Malcolm Pardon and Peder Mannerfelt dropped an amazing record for Digitalis a wee while ago and then a limited edition 12" for the Leaf label. Both records had got me quite excited to hear another and here it is. A brilliant full album for Leaf. Let's face it, Leaf have acquired some top artists for the label over the years and this signing is no exception. Peter was one of the artists involved with the highly commended Fever Ray album which is all very well but his production skills are to the fore with this project. The studio knowledge and skills are applied differently with Roll The Dice. Ultimately the sum of which is part Berlin School influence and a more current techno savvy minimalist approach which works wonders with its hypnotic and often melancholy attributes. Working from a reasonably uncomplicated sound palette, loops build up a huge amount of tension and then across their duration become released by lovely warm, almost human sounding phrases. The synthetic piano is particularly engrossing. Then there is the strange but compelling organic rhythms of 'In Dust' which are all wrapped up in lush Fennesz alike electronic crackle. 'Maelstrom' is a slightly more aggressive beast, rising from the shadows of melted post apocalyptic techno records all fused into a warm and ever evolving sonic brew that is half Vangelis and half John Carpenter. After that beauty comes 'Dark Thirty' which is quite spacious to begin with, some lush keys and then the celestial synthesizer voices begin to sing and really sound ace with the piano. Not a million miles from what Leyland Kirby is up to right now. There are also some darker passages like 'The Skull Is Built Into The Tool' and the rumbling experimental drones and textures of 'Evolution'. 'The Suck' is a fine example of stripped back fear inducing techno circa Delia Derbyshire and company. 'Cause and Effect' goes to work very nicely with simple layers of repetitive refrains weaving a sort of of post sci-fi/pre-apocalypse dream world which is most inviting. 'Way Out' begins with claustrophobic sounds which eventually mutate into light puncturing the darkness and rainbows of pure joy emerge. In debt to some older German synth stuff but still a glorious sound. Finally 'See You Monday' gets going with some refreshingly energetic sounds in terms of the album's general tempo. Repetitive and hypnotic like all of the best records. A top class album with equal parts classic influence and splashes of contemporary originality. This has hit the spot for me every time across repeated listens and therefore gets a big recommendation.
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- In Dust by Roll The Dice
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