The financial crisis may have hit Spain harder than other European nations, with economic problems deeply entrenched and high unemployment still ravaging youth in particular, but if there's one movement bucking the trend, it's the unexpected rise of electronic labels across the country.
One of the newest and most ambitious among them is Scheme. With close connections to the L.E.V. Festival in Asturias, Scheme feels more like a multimedia project than a traditional label, and their first release serves as a potent manifesto: double-vinyl packaged in a Futurist-inspired gatefold sleeve designed by Atelier Olscinsk, with postcards and a video by Kuedo collaborator MFO.
The music more than matches the presentation. Scheme have enlisted veteran producer and DJ Héctor Sadoval for the debut, and he doesn't disappoint. El Poso que da el Tiempo ("The Sediment of Time") strays well away from the heavier techno terrain that Sandoval explores alongside Valentín Corujo as Exium, turning instead to the intimate and classic IDM sound of his Komatsu (NB: one "S" Komatsu here) alias.
There are a number of elements that make El poso such a fascinating listen, the most obvious being its mesmerizing level of detail. Take "Lejano y oscuro planeta," which builds up pressure between its resonant snare drum and rumbling metal ambience. Just before it gets predictable, Sandoval unfurls a gentler echoing rhythm to completely shift the balance. Many tracks use even subtler tricks that only reveal themselves on repeated listens. Opener "Cuando la justicia" establishes its primary beat pattern, then removes seemingly essential but ultimately innocuous elements to send the track forward. "Tomahawks Interlaterales" is another standout for its combination of propulsive rhythmic drive and menacing jabs and thrusts.
El poso is, like its cover, a work of art for macroscopic and microscopic appreciation. One can scrutinize and fetishise the elaborate craftsmanship or stand back and absorb its textural richness.
Tracklist: Komatssu - El Poso que Da el Tiempo01. Cuando la justicia
02. McMurphy somos todos
03. Lejano y oscuro planetas
04. Intra spiral
05. Momias aulladoras
08. Tomahawks interlaterales
09. Sustancia tune
10. Igun famia
11. Dislocatium absenta
12. Las relaciones comunes