Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Review: Cryogenic Echelon – 'Anthology'


Antipodean electro artist Gerry Hawkins, AKA Cryogenic Echelon, has been on a role lately since poking his head out of the southern ocean. A string of innovative albums and numerous remix credits has seen his stock rise quickly in the global electro scene. Now hot on the heels of his last release, 2012's 'Pandora & Persephone' EP comes the retrospective 'Anthology'. The album pulls together remixes of Cryogenic Echelon's most popular tracks and features new songs and collaborations with a host of up-and-coming talent.

Hawkins' penchant for blending genres such as pop, electro, dubstep and drum and bass is as fresh and invigorating as ever and shows that, despite what seems like a huge workload, he shows no signs of burning out any time soon.

Each song is a club hit waiting to happen. Whether its the thumping ebm of 'Indigo Children', the slow and menacing likes of the dubstep addled 'The Hours Between', the classical tinged craziness of 'Common Wealth', or the hellish strains of 'The Lizard King' each track and collaboration feels distinct and unique but identifiably Cryogenic Echelon. Even the three remixes included feel as though they’re part of the whole album rather than simply being tacked on to the end of the track list for the sake of it.

There is an awful lot going on here both musically and vocally and it's nice that there is that sense of continuity through each song. The meticulous construction and sheer elegance of the songwriting is carried on through to the production, and as a result each songs sounds like both a floor-filler and a must for any live rendition.

Cryogenic Echelon as an entity has grown very fast to become one exciting project. The heavy use of collaborations gives the intricate architecture of Hawkins music a more communal feel in a scene where egos are sometimes left unchecked. 'Anthology' is a great album that, like his previous material, shows that an electronic musician can appeal to fans of multiple genres. And with a follow-up album already on the cards it looks like Hawkins will be hammering that message home for a while yet.

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