Various – Sonic Solutions (Timecode)

Posted in Reviews 2006 by - April 29, 2006


I know I’m slow on this one – it arrived at psyreviews’ UK lair too late to get reviewed before I changed bases, but it certainly has had a lot of play from me since then. You know where you are with Timecode, and doubly so when the album gets compiled by Digital Talk – funk melts into chunk, chunk melts into thunk, and thunk melts into… erm… into Tibetan monk.

Damage’s Bringdanoise gets a deliciously hectic remix from Broken Toy, with good ol’ Chuck D poised over a cracking groove that drops, at the five minute mark, into a serious piece of dirty technoid trance. Digital Talk’s Far Side is one of the better tunes I’ve heard from them lately. It’s got a very fresh energy to it, and it’s all about getting those knees up around waist-level for a sturdy, good ol’ homestyle stomp, without sending you ballistic before time. Xtra Unit (aka Triskell & Phatmatix) do pretty well with Mutant Rebellion. At first it sounds a little generic, with a lot of the sounds and swoops being things we’ve heard dozens of times before. But its movement, which has all the energy of a classic goan track, is where it shines. Yeah the peaks and drops are reminiscent of a harsher Eskimo, and yeah you can use it to count to 32 no problems, but I can see this working wonders on the dancefloor: the two-second-snatch of Backstreet Boys (or is it N Sync? Doesn’t matter) will see to this.

Chromatone and Random raise the messiness ante with the thundersome Alien Hunterz, a real caustic bit of lose-your-mates-while-peaking darkpsy; only then for Phatmatix to chill things out a little with the deft, pleasing Human Poison. It starts out easy and then gets more and more interesting, with depth and mentalness in equal measures. Rare. Terror Former sees Shift doing what Shift does best… you know what this means, right? Baggy, infectious, effortlessly organic stuff from possibly one of the best in class for this sort of thing.

Phyx’s Contraband has sheer pedal-t’metal energy right from the word go, but the movement is a little predictable… and the way it deploys that “high end getting higher” ramp-up sound to remind you that the music is peaking is annoyingly reminiscent of that dreadful Killer Buds release last year. Azax Syndrom’s Asnamus is more or less in keeping with where his sound is headed at the moment – more like tetchy rave than anything else, a far cry from when you first heard him and chuckled with glee as your face melted right off. In short, it sounds like something off the first Growlies’ album, only a bit messier.

The day is thankfully saved by Artifakt’s Dendron, a glitchy bit of post-post-acidhouse that combines funkytown disco and pisstaking elegance with the usual crunchy ingredients into a compelling, quirky little tune. Overall this is a decent album, the lowpoints aren’t all that low, and at the end of the day it keeps Timecode well on form.



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