With M is a Shape, L/F/D/M will hopefully bring us more of the minimal acid house that we’ve grown to appreciate. Reminiscent of the warm, comfortable house we remember from the sadly defunct Basic Channel label, L/F/D/M has brought us artful, cozy masterpieces before and may well do so again!
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- M Is A Shape by L/F/D/M
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Take a look at that cover - it’ll be hard to describe this without using the words ‘abstract’ and ‘collage’ judging by that enthralling yet unsettling collection of arranged snippets. The music contained on London producer L/F/D/M’s debut LP is much like that cover - reminiscent of a typical landscape (musically being minimal techno) but with a sort of hypnotic, surreal edge.
M Is A Shape throbs, whirls and flutters its way through 10 tracks of electronic repeatery, playfully shuffling around beat elements and sprinkling some distorted washes or pretty subtle acid synth lines into the mix. They give the impression of something larger and more berserk than is actually presented, their constant atonal sound bringing you right back onto the map depicted on the cover. There’s one moment where it boils over into the madness of more straight acid, the lengthy session of ‘Black Shadows’ on the second side. But other 4x4 groovers like ‘Insect Cylinders’ and ‘Sun Shape’ are almost dubbed over with memories of that 80s/90s style, a time when dance music was all about opening up as much as possible.
These tracks to tend to get a bit tiring, with ‘No Cure’ not providing too much to talk about, just a couple of quiet noise layers over a standard beat. This is ultimately the record’s downfall - for minimal, the few layers chosen need to be exceptional. It’s a shame considering how good the more experimental ‘Drifting Pyramid’ and ‘Tape Tension pt.1’ are, with barely a downtempo beat to pretend to be a techno tune in any way, shifting focus onto some sweet synth action. It’s a good debut album, but more care needs to be taken when treading minimal territory.
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