Midimal – In Search Of Water (FrakaSound)

Posted in Reviews 2008 by - January 16, 2008

If you write, or are thinking about writing, progressive trance then this is an essential milestone in what not to do


There’s something a bit fishy going on here, and I’m not referring to the fish on the front cover. Midimal is Christian Merki who (it says here) is “a veteran producer” who is also “an established musician in the Swiss scene” which is a pretty amazing thing to say when all I can find about him on the web is this, his only release.


It’s also the debut release of Swiss label Frakasound, whose website is almost totally non-functional and whose artist roster I can only assume comprises of Midimal, and Midimal alone.


One is tempted to draw the conclusion, then, that this is what used to be called a Vanity Release. A self-produced, self-financed project and it would appear that, with its fancy artwork, Liquid Soul mastering and Chaishop Media Promotion that that self-financing has come from a rather deep pocket.


Now I’m all for the idea of Vanity Releases, or indie-releases to give them a less loaded title. There’s nothing wrong with going it alone, getting your music out there by yourself if you’ve become frustrated about not finding a platform elsewhere. Indeed, this is one of the cornerstones of what makes dance music such a strongly DIY culture; never before acid house could a bedroom producer knock up a hundred 12”s, give them out to DJs at parties, and find his tune being caned all over the place.


What I do object to is Midimal’s cocksure assertion that he is a master of his art. The CD inlay refers to In Search Of Water as produced by a “sound wizard” “wonder boy” from “the guild of top producers ready to conquer the globe’s dancefloors” with music that is “truly full of emotional depth containing highly enjoyable dance music enchanting its listeners.”


It is the “perfect progressive sound.”  Which is fine, except for the fact that… it just isn’t. In Search Of Water is pleasant stuff that you can leave on in the background when your mates come round for a cup of tea in the afternoon and a chat about house prices. It is boring – exquisitely boring. Each track follows the same progression as the last, and is composed of largely identical sounds.


Changes of mood from track-to-track sound forced and inauthentic: indeed, when he falls back on vaguely Balearic melody to drive his tracks, he sounds like a cheap Matenda Tribute Band. You’re just not encouraged to believe in him or in his music, and that’s just too much to ask of the listener who’s looking for something rewarding.


The CD inlay suggests that we should be braced to expect more from this exciting new artist. I would be inclined to disagree.

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