Reviewed by ArcadePerfect (www.subba-cultcha.com)
Michael Paradinas' Planet Mu label has been responsible, (alongside Richard D James' output), for some of the more innovative electronic music to come out of the UK for the last 13 odd years.This album fits the criteria of the labels musical output perfectly.The album taps eloquently into the Dubstep scene that’s slowly gathering speed in London. Think New Breaks, but less formularised and riddled with well executed nods to Dub and you'll be some of the way there.
The Vex'd musical vision is D-A-R-K and industrial sounding and is particularly taut, with lots of full bodied analogue sounding snythbass lines. A prime example of how full bodied, is the b-line from 'Gunman', which has a bass line to be believed, huge, ravenous for souls and equipped with all the tools and vitality needed to get what it wants.
The atmosphere is maintained by well manipulated sweeping, (often ethereal and ghostly), strings that rip you away from the world you know and delivers you to an altogether darker, sinister place. The beats that frame this new place are like the sound of heavy steam powered machinery working to a driving, steel on steel broken and bastardised dancehall rhythm.
Moments are shamelessly minimal allowing space for the listener get to grips with the meticulously crafted sound that emanates from your undoubtedly booming speakers.
This album is definitely innovative and fresh sounding, but definitely NOT everybody’s cup of tea, (but then that’s not the point). This album is a step away from purist Electro, New Breaks, Grime, Dub, Hip-Hop and pretty near every other scene, but it still keeps elements of all of these genres alive and swirling menacingly close to the edge... for your uneasy enjoyment.
- Eskmo - Let Them Sing
- Ikonika - Smuck
- Geiom & Shortstuff - No Hand Signals
- Starkey - OK Luv
- Raffertie - 7th Dimension
- Ceephax Acid Crew - United Acid Emirates
- Kuedo - Dream Sequence E.P.
- Starkey - Ephemeral Exhibits
- Neil Landstrumm - Lord For £39
- Distance - Repercussions
- Last Step - 1961
- Mrs Jynx - The Standoffish Cat
- Venetian Snares - My Downfall (Original Soundtrack)
- Meat Beat Manifesto - Autoimmune
- iTAL tEK - Cyclical
- Mary Anne Hobbs - Evangeline
- Venetian Snares - Miss Balaton
- Various Production & Virus Syndicate - Apollo/Neva Argue
- Sunken Foal - Fermented Condiments
- Sunken Foal - Fallen Arches
- Venetian Snares - Detrimentalist
- The Gasman - Superlife
- Eero Johannes - Eero Johannes
- Virus Syndicate - Sick Pay