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7/10 Laurie Staff review, 19 August 2014
Here we have an extended reissue of Travelog, the 3rd EP by cult Sheffield electronic pioneers SND originally released back in 1999 as part of the Makesnd cassette.
It shares the same bare-bones, grassroots feel and minimal sample variety as other underground electronic movements around the time such as Bristol's early DnB scene, albeit closer to a techno/garage crossover. I like to think of it as 3am cigarette music. Each track is it's own variation on the same shuffly groove, occasionally smattered with dub reverb stabs or chords, with very little development for the duration of the record. You can hear the blueprint for Burial's approach to the electronic scene quite clearly here. Disintegrated drum sounds, tiny click snippets and bass bumps comprise a somewhat limited palette of sound. So why is it so captivating?
For the time, this record would have been quite exciting, stripping back the full-on rave tones of the previous decade. But the question looms as to if it has achieved longevity. While the samples and textures are limited, the EP succeeds in being quite good at sending the listener into a peaceful trance, almost feeling like a meditation piece, that is, if you were trying to achieve oneness in a back alley in Sheffield.
While this music is clearly 'mood music' which will only suit a select few settings, it is a worthy purchase, thankfully due to the 6 additional tracks, elongating the experience into a smokey, 3am voyage.
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