"Wilderness" is pretty much a masterpiece as far as this kind of stuff goes: lush without being overblown, elongated chords floating by on fluffy clouds, a vocal sample just the right amount of playful. Trickski's is a more considered take on underground deep house, putting the best of the genre's earthy soulfulness into a polished European structure, an irresistible combination when it actually works. A few other tracks come close to replicating the success of "Wilderness"—the incandescent and fluorescent-lit electric charges of "Beginning" are texturally fascinating and rhythmically satisfying, and the title track's spacious choral crawl winds the album down on a high note.
So with all that promise, what happened? Unfortunately, Unreality is a mess, and the careful focus that underpins the duo's best tracks doesn't extend itself to the album format. The slew of unnecessary sketches feel pointlessly shallow and awkwardly humourous, making Unreality much longer than it needs to be. But worse are the vocal tracks, which are almost uniformly failures: Irfane Khan-Acito's vocal performance on "Love's a Beat" is cringe-worthy, Ernesto's on "Good Time to Party" too earnest and the less said about Suol labelmate Fritz Kalkbrenner's performance on "Without You" the better. The penchant for awkward vocals even infects the sample tracks, as a finely honed tune like "Love Song" is tragically tainted by distracting vocals.
So what we've got with Unreality is a group reaching the pinnacle of its potential and then tumbling down from there. While not quite a complete wreck, it's hard to call Unreality anything but a disappointment: the duo have decided to emphasize their most peripheral qualities at the expense of what they do best. Back to the singles, then, for now.
Fri / 17 Jun 2011
03. Basic Tool
04. Good Time to Pray feat. Ernesto
07. Can't Get Through
08. The Dub Interlude
09. Love's A Beat feat. Irfane Khan-Acito
10. Miami Face Interlude
11. Love Song
12. Point 0
14. Without You feat. Fritz Kalkbrenner
15. PBK Interlude
17. The Escape from Mallorca