Reviewed by Joe Muggs (littledetroit.net)
Planet Mu have always been SERIOUS about their music. Frowny faced SERIOUS. Indeed Iâ€™ve actually been sternly told off in the past by Mr Paradinas for using the wrong terminology for genres (specifically for saying â€œragga-gabbaâ€ù instead of â€œbreakcoreâ€ù). Still, this is no bad thing â€“ if electronic music was all wackiness, pisstakes and jolly japes it would be just as boring as if it was miserable and studious all the time, so plenty respect for those flying the flag for the SERIOUS stuff.
Frog Pocket is serious. Serious guitar harmonic fingerpicking, serious strings, serious folky harps and some serious drum madness. What sets him apart, though, is that itâ€™s often also seriously beautiful and seriously dynamic. Each of these pieces (yus - these are definitely â€˜piecesâ€™ rather than just â€˜tunesâ€™) develops with an inexorable logic from beginning to end with twists, surprises, demented rushes, noise-white-outs and weightless floating bits. Rarely for an electronic artist who uses a lot of strings, it manages to be dramatic and seriously moody without slipping into any goth/industrial clichÃ©s. The drums occasionally veer into AFX / Squarepusher territory (especially on â€˜Carac Cylsâ€™ and â€˜Hurrah Sapphire Moon!â€™), but Frog Pocketâ€™s melodic style is so far removed from James & Jenkinson they always stay fresh. Hearing acoustic instruments this well blended with such ludicrously cut up and warped drum sounds is well impressive; theyâ€™re actually made to work together, rather than just jamming the acoustic sounds through some glitch madness patch to force them to sound electronic. Thereâ€™s no forced-ness to the additions of the classical and Celtic touches (indeed Frog Pocket â€“ from Ayr â€“ is trained in many traditional Scottish instruments) The â€˜Bach down a WARP raveâ€™ climax of â€˜Celebrimbor Tur-Anionâ€™ has to be heard to believed for its ability to fuse styles without being â€˜noveltyâ€™. A tendency to barking mad â€˜alien voiceâ€™ synths amidst all this helps pull it back from over-symphonic po-facedness, and overall the whole thing is seriously fun as well as merely serious.
- DJ Diamond - Flight Muzik
- Machinedrum - Room(s)
- Pritch & Trim - Stereotype
- Tropics - Parodia Flare
- Anti-G - Presents 'Kentje'sz Beatsz'
- Various - Ghettoteknitianz E.P.
- Kuedo - Severant
- Chrissy Murderbot - Women's Studies
- Boxcutter - The Dissolve
- NastyNasty - No Names
- FaltyDL - You Stand Uncertain
- Chrissy Murderbot - Bussin Down
- Boxcutter - Allele
- - Bangs & Works Vol.1
- DJ Roc - The Crack Capone
- Solar Bears - She Was Coloured In
- Various - 14 Tracks From Planet Mu
- DJ Spinn - Man I Do It EP
- DJ Rashad - Itz Not Rite
- Numan - Race Against Time
- Ital Tek - Midnight Colour
- DJ Nate - Da Trak Genious
- Tropics - Soft Vision E.P.
- Mrs Jynx - Shark Carousel