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- If You're Into It, I'm Out Of It (2018 Remaster) by Christoph de Babalon
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Rewind to the mid-90s and I was working an evening shift in a factory making circuit breakers, drudging along, the dignity of labor and all that, when all of a sudden, on the olde wireless, John Peel drops a Christoph De Babalon tune - a moment I’ll never forget -- it blew my fucking dome open. His recent EP on V I S is still regularly on my turntable and so it’s a joy to have a fresh pressing of this gem from 1997 (originally released on Digital Hardcore Recordings (DHR)) reissued on his own Cross Fade Enter Tainment (CFET) label.
Now given a fresh remaster by Rashad Becker, it’s striking how well a lot of this album has aged. Opening cut ‘Opium’ is the sort of bleak, foggy ambient sound many artists strive for today. Then comes the splintered jungle shrapnel of ‘Nostep’ and proto-breakcore acid squelcher ‘Expressure’ -- what would have been referred to as drill ‘n’ bass back in the day. ‘What You Call A Lie’ is a slower tempo darkside creeper with a sinister, shadowy atmosphere and sharp, rolling breaks. Following the whirlwind of ruptured amens that is ‘Water’ comes the wonderfully evocative ambient piece ‘Brilliance’ before the lethal ‘Dead (Too)’ kicks in with its fierce momentum and pure electric, pulsing bassline. From here we get the manic, bleeping hardcore of ‘Damaged III’ and decayed jungle of ‘Release’ that has me feeling like I could almost be listening to a moldy old Grooverider tape exhumed from the glove compartment of a vehicle that’s been dead in a scrapyard for the last 25 years. The beatless dark ambient of ‘Highlife (Theme)’ moves like a stealth shark through black waters before the tense, claustrophobic droning backdrop of closing tune ‘My Confession’ is punctured by gushing breaks and almost ceremonial bell chimes. If you’ve never heard this album then now is the time.
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