Which is why the Border Community sound appeals now – there’s a kind of hypnotism in loooong held synth notes, a respect for sustain, tune and, most importantly, notes. No matter how much the techno and house contingent would sniff at it, it’s a style that works. People, there is pleasure in notes. And just because it’s an effects knob, doesn’t mean tweaking it makes you innovative. It's a thousand year old fact, but the harmonic scale makes dumbasses like me swoon.
Which brings me to Petter, who’s very young and Swedish, but has a way with a tune. Previous release on Border ‘Six Songs’ was a nice slice of nu-prog, and ‘Some Polyphony’ is more of the same, if a bit dirtier and messy as is the Border tendency of late.
A-side ‘Some Polyphony’ is more than okay, melding Border bass programming with the new Euro trance tendency (Chardronnet, Landsky, Minilogue). Maybe it’s not 100% shake-your-ass, but there’s enough rhythmic momentum, bounce and modulation to intrigue the lazy fat people on the dancefloor. Pity that it never reaches full steam after the breakdown – DJs would do well to mix this into something else with a little more kick because it’s not going anywhere.
B-side ‘Untight’ is more to my taste: six minutes of continuous build. Petter knows the power of a shredded synth, feeding the constituent parts inside each other so moment to moment we get a fine view of the beauty of each. Pity it’s a bit rough and thick and raw, but you do get the feeling that each section has been lovingly pored over, it’s not eight bars of this and then eight bars of that. What I want for Christmas is for producers to marry prog-trance builds with minimal techno attention to detail. Leave the rough to rock.
B2 is the beatless ambience of ‘Less Exciting’, which is certainly well named, but it feels like floating on a cloud and maybe that is enough sometimes.
All in all, this is pretty swoonsome stuff from Border. I got over my psytrance hump, but if hypnotic synths are going to be rehabilitated (and rest assured the techno snobs will dismiss this one just as day follows night), it’s stuff like this which marries a respect for analogue tones with trance builds that’s gonna do it.
Thu / 3 Aug 2006