Reviewed by Max Power (earlash.ccom)
Dynamic Obsolescence is definitely one of the best albums I've heard this year. I'm not saying it's the best electronic album of the year, I'm just saying that it rocks my shit. I've been listening to it for awhile now and I still keep pulling out subtleties in the tracks that make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Now the question is, How do I begin talking about it?
The real power of this album lies in the way it blends crunchy beats with intense melodies. It's got the yin and the yang, the night and day, the money and the maker. This is not ass shaking music. It's from Planet Mu and while they don't guarantee foot stompin', they do deliver intelligent and challenging music. Mr. Dykehouse is a relatively new addition to the Planet Mu family and he definitely does them proud - and he makes me cream every time I listen to "Obsolescence."
The music on Dynamic Obsolescence varies greatly, from tweaked out breakbeat and drill-n-bass, to downtempo beats, to ambient. The arrangement of each track is exquisite. Sometimes the tunes seem airtight, other times they seem to be on the verge of a chaotic self-destruction. And maybe chaos and dynamism is what this album is all about. Like an extended scene from A.I., the album visits the graveyard of technology and learns that there is still life in the things we have forsaken. In fact, within that decay there is a universe all unto itself.
The beats have a definite Squarepusher flow, and some of the melodies are reminiscent of Boards of Canada. How can you go wrong when you're compared to these guys? You can't. Just check out tracks like "Shelf Life", "Humid Easel Hockey", "The Patina of Accumulation", "Kalamazoo", and "Cargo Cult". Mr. Dykehouse brews up some serious ear heroin, but don't think he's all business. The serious tone of some of the tracks is often offset by many lighthearted tracks, like the cyber-funk of "Record Store Track", which sounds like something from a Star Wars oxygen bar, or "Gursym", an ambient journey into an aural digestive track.
Though I'm not crazy about every one of the 19 tracks, the mass of this album is pretty solid, mostly because the chaotic gravitational forces that make electronic music such a powerful art form are holding it together. It's not always an easy pill to swallow, but you'll still thank me for this one. Take a journey through death, decay and newfound life.
- Various - The Cosmic Forces Of Mu
- Venetian Snares - Defluxion
- Venetian Snares & Speedranch - Making Orange Things
- Joseph Nothing - Dummy Variations
- Hrvatski - Swarm & Dither
- Mu Allstars - Criminal
- Hellfish & Producer - Constant Mutation (Mixed)
- Leafcutter John - Microcontact
- Nicole Elmer - Beef Bouilion
- Tim Tetlow - Beauty Walks A Razor's Edge
- Phthalocyanine - 25 Tracks Fer 1 Track
- Leafcutter John - Concourse E.E.P.
- Luke Vibert - '95-'99
- Jega - Geometry
- Capitol K - Roadeater E.P.
- Kid Spatula - Full Sunken Breaks
- Jega & Kid Spatula - Unity Gain / Hard Love
- Capitol K - Sounds Of The Empire
- Slag Boom Van Loon - So Soon
- Tusken Raiders - The Motorbike Track
- Slag Boom Van Loon - Slag Boom Van Loon
- Jega - Spectrum
- Horse Opera - 3 Cornered Room
- Capitol K - Island Row