Basic Soul Unit, Soulspeak


Illustration by Dreampaint

[Dolly]


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Stuart Li’s work as Basic Soul Unit is remarkably consistent, though occasionally predictable as well. Soulspeak, his first 12″ for Steffi’s Dolly imprint, skirts most threats of sameness. Li utilizes a lot of classic tropes, but he underlines these with dynamic structural gestures. He’s becoming extremely proficient at laying mesmerizing atmospherics on top of jacking arrangements, and this new ethereal dimension adds a lot to his sound. And having Shed contribute a remix doesn’t hurt the package either.

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The title track begins gingerly, with each element slowly coalescing into a cohesive whole. An acid line hatches out of an interplay between kicks, toms, and a delicate background melody, opening the gates for more percussion. As it reaches its jacking apex, the synths become slightly more pronounced, imbued with an eerie otherworldliness. Shed’s contribution will undoubtedly be the draw for many people. In light of this expectation, his remix of the title track is especially daring. Li’s pads are placed atop pummeling, industrial-strength kicks, and though Shed removes the acid, he more than makes up for it with the rhythm’s intensity. It’s a screaming throwback to days when techno was ruder and dirtier, and certainly one of the grittiest things he’s ever produced. “The Long Way” is another thudding, acidic workout, but the filtered pads manage to calm everything; their entry at the piece’s beginning seems to dictate the subdued energy of what is to come. Finally, “Flying Through The Fog” takes the opposite approach, beginning with a rough acid line before the atmospherics insert some spacey, Millsian drama. The insistence on this kind of airy ambience makes Soulspeak one of Li’s best releases yet.

tony kukoc  on September 21, 2011 at 3:34 AM

Love it, although I still prefer BSU’s more straight up jackin tracks.

hiss  on September 21, 2011 at 12:06 PM

shed remix is unree

Trackbacks

Little White Earbuds September Charts 2011 | Little White Earbuds  on October 7, 2011 at 8:16 PM

[…] Back] (buy) 08. Dexter, “Great Northern Diver” [Clone Basement Series] (buy) 09. Basic Soul Unit, “Soulspeak” (Shed Remix) [Dolly] (buy) 10. Oni Ayhun, “Meets Shangaan Electro” [Honest Jon's Records] (buy) […]

Little White Earbuds October Charts 2011 | Little White Earbuds  on November 4, 2011 at 10:21 AM

[…] the Wizard” [Wurst Music Co.] 04. Kevin Reynolds, “Liaisons” [Nsyde Music] 05. Basic Soul Unit, “Soulspeak” [Dolly] 06. Crackboy, “More Order” [I'm A Cliche] 07. Darkcell, “Dusty (Perc […]

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