8/10 Laurie Staff review, 02 September 2014
The 10th release of the Boomkat Editions series welcomes the evolving synth spirals of Presto Records founder Lorenzo Senni. The initial billing of the record as 'pointillistic trance' on the press release is a little intimidating - although I've never been to a 90's trance rave, I've heard at least 2 of the thousands of IBIZA BEST CLASSIK TRANCE '93 compilations, which is surely enough. Unlike them, this makes for quite an interesting listen, more of a chin stroker than a chin gurner. Completely stripped of all typical electronic drum beats, it relies solely on synth to provide the relentless rhythmic stabs that have become synonymous with the style, only stepping back for short breathers, such as 'Xxx1' on side 2.
The instrument in the spotlight is the Roland JP-8000, a synth also apparently used by Scooter - make of that what you will. The lack of overt filtering of the raw JP-8000 gives the record a bright sound (shinier than Luke Abbott's chin), which in combination with the emotional harmonies takes me right back to those 2 glorious compilations. It's almost like if Tim Hecker, Steve Reich and Tiesto had a wild night in, or Animal Collective's distant electronic flurries. Perhaps most enjoyable is where the pace and texture is changed up - 'Xxx1' drops down to dub tempo, blurring the lines between beats and melody further, and 'Zeroth-order approximation' hits deep with some abstract, reversed stabs.
A must-have for synth lovers, I'd recommend dropping said compilations entirely and just getting this.
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