April 3, 2007

Metope - Braga/Breep

Metope was always the least melodically interesting artist on a label (his own!) full of buzzing beauties—Ada has always been a skilled songwriter in Electribe drag, but even Basteroid and Konfekt’s trackiest moments were full of cloudbursts, breakdowns, and big hooks. But where Metope’s tracks really shined was in their timbral richness—you can tell this guy really, really loves the sounds of his machines, which works to the detriment of the “song” when it becomes a repetition-compulsion (or sounds like a beautifully tuned engine at idle, depending on your point of view).

But Areal’s colorful past seems to have faded, and the label, with the release of this EP, appears to be announcing a new, techier (trancier!) direction. Gone are the big melodies and tear-outs, replaced with more growling, buzzing, and swarming drones. “Braga,” the A-side, seems to be showing the transition between the Areal of old and the Areal of the new. But it’s “Breep,” the B-side, which really shows the new direction. It’s trancey, but in the hypnotic sense—there’s no moments of euphoric melodic resolution here—the only melodies sound like the cries of lemmings flung from the speeding mothership. Which is a good thing, trust me. When the cries of little critters sound this good, their deaths are not in vain.

Areal / Areal041
[Peter Chambers]

September 8, 2005

Konfekt - Quenge Liese / Rear Besen

Maybe it’s the haze of my youth, but didn’t things used to be all roses for this label each time out? Listening back to their back catalogue the past few days, I can unequivocally say: “Yes.” For every 15 minutes of Ada perfection that was being dropped two years ago, it was sandwiched by aimless Undo/Redo jawns and brilliant/crap Metope 12”’s. The latter is what we have here on Konfekt’s latest outing “Quenge Liese / Rear Besen.” “Quenge” is the near-brilliant portion of the proceedings, reveling in Oizo analog bass farts that couch hardly lighter-tinged synth melodies that threaten to steamroll everything in their path. In typical Konfekt fashion, by the end of the track, you feel vaguely violated and satisfied. Never fear, however, for the comedown you can turn the vinyl over and have a short moment of cuddling before it happens all over again. This time, though, since you’re a bit more prepared, you’ll find the returns a slight diminished.

Areal / Areal032
[Todd Burns]