Friday, 22 January 2016

Review: Ca†hedra – 'Doomsday'


The second self-released EP from Mexican electronic producer Ca†hedra sets out to explore the essence of rave culture as filtered through his own unique vision. The result is a heady mix of psychedelic electronics, thick and sinister bass lines, and solid dance beats with a liberal sprinkling of dark ambient atmospheres. There are nods to genres such as hip hop, trance, acid house, industrial and witch house which give 'Doomsday' a wonderfully esoteric and yet richly familiar vibe.

Songs such as 'Agony', 'Nightwalk', 'Sudden Death', and 'Dead Inside' provide the EP with a backbone of steady, down-tempo and melancholic dance tracks. The songs draw on a very similar pallet of sounds but this doesn't get repetitive in any way. Instead utilising the same lead synth sound throughout the EP ties everything together nicely and gives the release a unified feel. Even the remix of D3ad Sky's 'Cult' included at the end, despite lacking that distinctive lead still feels like a part of an album rather than something tacked on to the end.

The EP's stand-out tracks however are 'Falling' featuring Masha Petrova and 'Funeral Pyre' featuring Shine Brida. Both of these utilise vocals in a way that adds a greater sense of atmosphere to the recordings. Masha's vocals on 'Falling' are utterly haunting and beautiful against the forceful backing'. While Shine Brida's contribution to 'Funeral Pyre' is a darker, almost spoken/rapped performance which emphasises the hip hop leaning of the song and creates a much more sinister narrative.

The production is very slick. There are some quite overtly low-fi sounds and elements at work, but the production is still held to a high standard and maintains a polished feel throughout. Therefore it doesn't fall into the trap of the mix getting over saturated with distortion that many witch house acts seem to suffer from at some point in their releases.

If you haven't had the chance to check out Ca†hedra, then 'Doomsday' is a great place to start. It is a strong and concise record full of catchy leads, dark atmospheres and addictive beats. For a project that has only been around for four years Ca†hedra has fast become a shining example of how to do underground electronics right.

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