Silk Road Assassins drop their debut LP via the notorious Planet Mu. Given how lush State Of Ruin sounds, it’s no surprise to find out that the trio of Tom E Vercetti, Chemist and Lovedr0id all make electronic library music for their day jobs. This album is full of the sort of sombre, muted takes on trap, dancehall, grime etc. that Mr. Mitch has become so good at over the past couple of years.
Double LP £19.49 ZIQ402
2LP on Planet Mu.
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CD £11.49 ZIQ402CD
CD on Planet Mu.
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What happens when you get a bunch of professional music producers in a (chat)room and sign them to Planet Mu?
Well if those producers go by the name Silk Road Assassins you get State of Ruin, an album whose name is very much a misnomer. The trio are certainly aiming for something dystopian, mining the same rich vein of unnerving grime and trap that produced the likes of Kuedo (who features on a track) and Mr Mitch. But it’s all too.. well produced. When they’re not Silk Road Assassins Tom E Vercetti, Chemist and Lovedr0id work on TV and video games. And it really shows. Every sound has been fine tuned to within an inch of its life to elicit and specific emotional response. TV and especially video games lean on sound to fill in some of the emotional blanks and get your serotonin firing.
‘Split Matter’, the track where Kuedo appears, is so shiny it's almost reflective. The bass on ‘Shadow Realm’ has the sleek edges of a modern phone. The moaning synths on ‘Thorns’ give ‘Everything In Its Right Place’ a run for its money. None of this is bad, and the sound design on State of Ruin is almost certainly going to reward multiple listens, but it does leave me feeling a bit cold. The genres they're interpreting; grime, trap, dancehall, are often sleek but never this excessively.
They do successfully borrow the form of each style, it’s always obvious what a track is drawing from, but there approach is a bit too hard-faced for my tastes.
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