On the third release from Sweden's Aniara label, Genius of Time— who run the imprint alongside the artist known as Dorisburg, and who have a release in the pipeline for Clone's Royal Oak series—make retro sound unexpectedly fresh, thanks to a keen feel for slinky rhythms and a canny ear for timbre.
The label describes Genius of Time's process as "live synthesis and performances [run] through space echos, lfo's, ring modulators, distortion units and chorus effects," and you can certainly hear that in both tracks here, with their warm, presumably analog drum machines, silky synthesizers and cozy reverbs. You couldn't say that "Gliese" is original, exactly: it starts off with a dry, Delsin feel, entertains a Dial-like chirpy lead, and ends up as lush as a Future Classic record; it's got the jazzy lilt of Space Dimension Controller and the gauze-wrapped handclaps of Metro Area. But it's an ingenious fusion of those styles and those that fueled them, played out with grace and good cheer; you'd be amazed at how much he can wring out of two chords and a four-note riff. It's a gorgeous, innocent tune that'll have you seeing sunrise in your mind, no matter what time you hear it played.
Compared to the slack disco of the A-side, "Science Fiction," is more stripped down, following a coiled, conga-defined house groove. There's no melody to speak of, but there's a suggestion of one in the constellation of hand drums, pads and an almost inaudible bass note. Again, it's not hard to plot the track's antecedents: the nimbly plunging bass sounds a little like prime LoSoul, and the congas and analog chirps give the impression that the artist has taken the good bits from minimal house and funneled them through Metro Area's patch bay. But you won't be thinking about that when that rising-and-falling ghost melody sweeps you up and off your feet. The groove is as irresistible as they come; like any good science fiction, it sets the terms, and you happily abide by them.
Tracklist: Genius of Time - Gliese 581gA Gliese 581g
B Science Fiction
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