60° 43’ Nord is a banging techno record, primed and ready for club deployment. But, more unusually, it is also a document of the underwater soundscape found underneath a fishing boat in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Yes, it can be both things! Nice explorative work here from Molecule, released by Because Music.
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A techno record usually has a spiel to accompany it that rambles on about the seclusion and weather of living in Berlin or some sadistic rant. Not Molecule. His spiel is that he went fishing in the middle of the Atlantic ocean in a big ship, jumped overboard with a few mics, and returned to the deck with this album. Now that’s techno.
Sadly, it probably didn’t quite go down that way, but these are Atlantic ship hull beats, just take a look at the press release if you don’t believe me. You can hardly tell though, apart from select moments when he’s dropped in the splashy recordings for atmospheric effect (see 1st track Abysses). Those hats are probably whale spout squirts, but it’s the synths that are piled on that stand out the most. Lots of thick bouncy synth-basses and alien pads swell out from the bilges. It’s more on the Chemical Brothers side of techno, the raw gnarled cousin of electro featuring big, slamming snare drums that you can feel in your pancreas. And I never feel my pancreas.
3rd track ‘Hebrides’ promises muted dub techno, but the dubbed-out watery chords are evaporated slightly by a hard kick drum and hi-definition clap samples making me wonder where this track would fit. I guess the club at 4am?? ‘Shannon’ picks it back up by committing more fully to the dub side of things as the spiky elements ease off; Deepchord would be happy with this one. OK so it’s more of a dub-techno album than a Chemical Brothers-inspired frenzy.
I’m slightly underwhelmed by the more hypey tracks on the record (‘Bailey’ inclusive), but after hearing the delightful hazy brilliance of ‘Le Jardin’, I’m certain that there’s some great stuff to be found on here.
For all the nautically inclined beatsters out there.
4/10 sheila 26th May 2016
I'd much rather have an album with more of the bare noises, please? dark metal thumps and cold wind water batters creak through only in the background tempting me beyond the dancefloor to the lashed-before-the-mastness. possible but not available here....alas.
More words needed to fill the review up to 500...boxes cold fish in the fish hold freezing hands all scummy ripping out intestines seagulls screaming catching in the air the diesel sickly hum and spark of fault lighting throbs the engine up and down the guts go overboard and mine too maybe. But what's here is just a(nother) dancing music.
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