A taster for their second long player ‘Movements’, ‘Night Falls’ sees top Berlin electrohouse duo and Get Physical impresarios Booka Shade in a playful mood. Expectations are now sky high: ‘Body Language’ was voted Ibiza track of the summer 2005 and was justifiably caned by every DJ worth his salt (and Pete Tong). The follow-up ‘Mandarine Girl’ was simply lovely: a reinvention of trance that resurrected the dreaded panpipe preset and my track of 2005. And I don’t even like electrohouse!
‘Night Falls’ deserves more than one listen: it’ll intrigue more if you know its destination. Midway between an album track (it opens ‘Movements’) and a club cut for the early crowd to hum along to before they get fed up and leave, the trademark hollow bass, real drums, and floatation tank synths resolve into an attitude just the right side of inoffensive humility. Not quite the gem it wishes it was (that accolade goes to ‘In White Rooms’ my track of 2006 thus far. I know. Boring), ‘Night Falls’ might lack the rhythmic insistence to move more stubborn dancefloors but I just can’t stop listening to it.
‘Trespass06’ is Get Physical goes M_nus: minimal techno of the just-one-riff-will-do Tony Iommi school, but instead of mucking about with plips and plops it’s a seven-minute fight with a broken arpeggiator. In theory this sounds like manna from heaven and the track has a huge build and payoff, yet somehow the distortion detracts. Electronic music is like socks: best if clean. Of course on the platter of the right DJ I’m sure it could slay (don’t we say this about everything?)
Third cut 'The Spectralist' pitchshifts percussion listlessly until a Sergio Leone build rises up spookily out of the clatter to kneel down in front of you and present (groan) dark acid electrohouse. It’s annoying as fuck.
But onto the intriguing question – what is a spectralist? A quick google spits up the juice: “Spectralism is a musical genre originating in France in which waveforms are broken down and then recreated into musical forms.” Hmm. This sounds a lot like what Booka Shade do: by the power of sheer synth boffinism they take apart the Big Bassline and Melodic Hook of electrohouse, sharpen up the worn parts, and create a new machine. The result is that the smile and wiggle the music trigger are genuine.
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