To Baaaarcelona, in celebration of a top-class football club netlabel that has been banging in the goals pumping out excellent releases for quite some time and has now achieved the miraculous and got Carles Puyol to cut his hair reached number 50 in their release schedule. End of football jokes.*
InoQuo has come over all giddy and released a nine-track compilation of top-class minimal/techno. Like just about every other netlabel album in this genre, Kvindek doesn't conform to CTW's infamous first law of dance music (the first of my minions to post a comment stating what it is will receive a free CC track from CTW's vaults), but that doesn't stop it from containing studio wizardry and buttock-seducing rhythms. To demonstrate, I'll recommend the first track as I'm fond of the aural tricks it plays. You get classical guitar, reverbed and chopped voices, and tooting synths - and that's just in the first few seconds, before a ridiculously close-up high/low frequency stab is plopped in your ear. It then proceeds to groove with the help of the aforementioned elements and the addition of pitch-shifted tubular bell-like...oh, hell, why am I burbling on? Suck it and see:
Hermético's Nueva Fórmula doesn't actually break new ground, but what it does it does very well. A bumping bass, abrasive snare, tannoy-like vocals, tiny little glitches (a feature of the entire EP - there's nary a moment that hasn't been worked to within an inch of its life) and a fast pace ensure that this will burn the calories. Turn up the volume and it comes to life - as does En Casa De Paola by Monokao, whose kick-snare-repeat-till-unconscious mantra drives the minimal nail into the ground with a big techno hammer, restrained only by the occasional speak-and-spell vocal. The excellent mastering overcomes the compositional simplicity through sheer power. It's a banger.
But it's not all dark dancefloors and sticky t-shirts. Modular by Saccobros is one of those minimal tracks that, if you squint a bit, could be described as electronica or even ambient, because the usual percussive framework is swamped by a Nintendo-ish flurry of triplets that swells and contracts with hypnotic rhythm. It's like listening to an electronic seashore.
Mercurio by Manuel Romero starts off ordinarily enough, but little glitches, snatches of conversations, electronic growls and whatever else he can conjure up with, at a guess, Ableton software soon alerts the listener that here is an amazingly dense track that flourishes when heard through headphones. Take it home, loosen its dancefloor clothes and you'll find that it's wearing a glitchy bra and ambient knickers.
Apologies for that last sentence and to Project Swirl and Licuadora System, whose tracks, though well worth hearing, have been brushed over because I'm about to hit my mental Twitter word limit. It's nothing personal. And despite some rather delicious jazz electric piano, Grau's Miles is, well, miles too long.
Everything apart from the hi-hats in Mikel Mendia's Takumar seems low-passed, giving it a suitably understated feel for Kvindek's last track. I liked the drop about a minute and a half in, where the track comes to a halt only to restart with an echoing snare drum flam and tiny snippets of ...cutlery. Such moments are sprinkled throughout the album. Like a hairy wart anything with hidden depths, Kvindek took time to grow on me. Turn up the volume to let the excellent recording quality shine, give it a few spins and see if the same happens to you.
*Ah, mes amis. Le Coupe du Monde. Quel dommage, hein? By the way, if you're wondering about how musicians and netlabels react
to getting prodded by CTW's smelly finger, here's a reaction shot from
the inoQuo staff (I may be lying about this). Can't you feel the love? CC music: you know it makes sense.