A very impressive lineup here, but it doesn’t really deliver. The roster includes heaps of names you’ve heard of, and even the ones you haven’t are important: Kris Klyven & Syb-Sonic used to do UX, Rob Leiner practically started the Scandinavian techno scene, and Slot Machine is Nick (Prana, Snake Thing) Taylor’s new project.
Impressive, and label boss PKS has outdone himself in coaxing these chaps out of retirement.
However I can’t help thinking that in the midst of the signings, the quality criteria has dipped a little. Blue Planet Corporation’s contribution is messy and scattered, Digital Mystery Tour’s is like something Medicine Drum left off an old album, and the track by the aforementioned ex-UX goes nowhere.
Bluetech continues his Trentemoller emulation with the self-indulgent Embrace, and Cosmosis’ The Himalaya has some dreadful, dreadful keychanges at the centre of a track that seems to have just about every shanti cliché: what was he thinking?
So thank God for the good ones: Hypersonic Whomen’s dubstep-tinged Free Space is a quirky delight, and Kiwa’s Inside is a funked-up glam ride in the back of a pimped rickshaw: Fear and Loathing in Helsinki.
Robert Leiner’s Beginning Of The End is brilliantly produced, unfurling stuff of the calibre of Chill Tribe’s releases, and Slot Machine’s The Quick And The Dead is messy, snakebite-n-black stuff, almost the sort of music you could imagine playing in the background when Courtney Love finally overdoses.
It’s all rather disparate and frustrating. This could have been an excellent release had the lineup been matched by the quality.
With Tim Schuldt’s rough, uneven mastering adding insult to injury, this one is best avoided. Revisit this label’s earlier releases instead.