For a guy who's been around the traps for around a decade, there certainly seems to be little known about Lars Fenin. It keeps the attention on the music rather than the man, but after having Mixes and Maxis stuck on repeat, I can't help but want to know a little more. What we do know about Fenin is that production-wise, he's marked out a dizzyingly, upward trajectory since his last album Been Through. Where his previous work flirted with more song-based structures and experimental sounds, Mixes and Maxis marries these two and adds a firmer dance floor momentum to great effect.
Fenin seems to have found the knack of creating a counterbalance to the flow and texture of each track, often playing off smooth with rough, or dreamy with alert, thereby building a dynamic tension that is perfect for repeat listening or losing it on the dance floor. The highlight has to be "Seems Like" whose combination of pulsing electro, rugged dubstep rhythms and carnivalesque synths is simply sublime. The slow, but insistent bass-weight thuggery of "Done," the restless percussive detail of "Romeo Kalimba" and "Driven" with its lusty, but patient kick drum, sparking snares and chiselled Jamaican guitar run a close second.
Fenin's long-term collaborator Gobi also rises to the challenge with two driven performances, the first on the minimal styled "None of Them" and, most tellingly, on the closing track "Sound and Power" whose refrain "Sound and power is coming your way" is delivered with venom and freshness. Perhaps the only surprise here is that it tails off so quickly, ending the album on a lurch, when so much effort had been made to build a cohesive set out of a collection of released and unreleased tracks. That he does so is just one more reason to want to know more.
Buy Fenin - Mixes and Maxis at
Tracklist: Fenin - Mixes and Maxis 01. Done (Edit)
02. Division El Norte
03. Seems Like
04. None Of Them
05. Romeo Kalimba
08. And Again (Robags Wokksikon Remikks)
09. Sound And Power