An intriguing drop on Romeda Records here. Label favourites Kanal Drei and Dublock have now joined forces as Third Reel. They offer up a surfeit of material on The Hidden One - the record spans eighteen tracks, a fair few of which clock in at over eight minutes. The sounds generally veer between dark and minimal techno (‘Moon’, ‘Shining Dawn’) and eerie sound art/drone experiments (‘Child Of Gaia’, ‘Rainbow’).
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One thing I really like about music is that in can simultaneously sound incidental and intentional. Yes that may be a contradiction but I think we’ve all done something “accidentally on purpose”. For me, it’s this that justifies The Hidden One by Third Reel’s two hour length.
Across these two discs Kanal Drei and Dublock make music that seems like it just, happened. This album is stuffed to the brim with ambient and gentle dub-techno tracks that features clicks and clacks and other sounds that give them an almost field recording quality, like the pair have uncovered a strange machine. A mysterious machine. One that would cause conspiracy theorists to spend hours pouring over recordings of it to try and find some deeper meaning. Sometimes the machine is welcoming and almost warm, like on the beautiful ‘Child of Gaia’. Sometimes it’s angry and confused like on the visceral ‘Moon’. Though who are we to try and glean understanding from the machine?
I’m forgetting myself. There is no machine, but it’s this enigmatic quality that makes The Hidden One so compelling. I know its 18 tracks were created by two people, and yet it’s so easy to fall into it, as though it wasn’t merely an album made by a couple of producers. If you have any patience for the more restrained types of electronic music, Third Reel have made an album that has the capacity to consume you and all that time you had saved to catch up on your podcasts.
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