Thursday, 27 February 2014

Review: ConclΔve – 'Longplay'

'Long Play'

ConclΔve from the Philippines is an interesting project. Minimalistic electro and witch-house orientated experimentalism come together for a sound to create an enticing sound. It is on the one hand lo-fi and ambient, albeit with a penchant for harsh synth sounds and drones. But as soon as you throw in some vocals (from multiple guests) it becomes a lot more accessible and, dare I say... commercial in flavour.

Songs such as 'Melted', 'Ocean Star', 'Island', and 'Crystal Skies' feature strong rhythms and layers of ambient synths and a harsh or light lead melody that, on their own would be enough to create a strong instrumental album as illustrated by the sole vocal free song 'Rip The Sky Asunder'. Yet the vocal contributions from the likes of Berna So, Luxe Calip and Leo & The Tolstoys etc. spice the mix up a lot and suddenly the songs become a lot fuller and enticing.

Sometimes it doesn’t quite work. The tracks 'Knighthood' and 'Portals', featuring Spz Chaote and Blam Lord respectively, don't quite gel. Their rap style just doesn’t gel with the underlying track and comes off a little like a bit of a dodgy remix.

Speaking of remixes, the two bonus remixes of 'Ocean Star' by Sapphire Slows and Mater Suspiria Vision are a fine way to round things off. Sapphire Slows play on the ambient elements of the song and add some hard beats for a dancier version. While Matter Suspiria Vision gets the scissors out and cuts things up, twisting the source material into something a little more nightmarish.

This is a nice offering that balances an accessible sense of melodic songwriting with a strong leaning towards underground experimentalism. The mix is clean and tidy, while the overall production has a low-fi quality to it, but nothing to abrasive so as to put off casual listeners.

This is a strong release that will hopefully garner a bit of attention for ConclΔve. It's going to be very interesting to see where the next release goes.

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