Conforce, State of Mind

[Clone Basement Series]

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Having put out a rake of EPs last year, Dutch producer Boris Bunnik faces the dilemma that presents itself to so many upcoming artists: whether to cut down on the release schedule and in so doing limit the opportunities to gain exposure or to forge ahead regardless but to run the risk of burn-out. Bunnik also faces the additional problem of trying to make his music stand out in an area of electronic music, Detroit-inspired techno, that, to put it mildly is overcrowded. On the first point, he would be well advised not to alter his course, as the labels he releases on — Delsin, Clone and Rush Hour — are known for their judicious A&Ring and aren’t in the business of putting out music for the sake of it. The second issue is more problematic, but on State Of Mind for Clone Basement Series, Bunnik shows he has the requisite talent for his work to stand apart from the average producer.

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Bunnik’s ability to shine through in an ocean of acceptable mediocrity is audible on “Spoiled,” where an atmospheric synth riff swirls through the arrangement, ebbing and flowing effortlessly as it rides a subtle filter. Counterbalancing these ethereal sounds are a plunging bass line that sinks to almost the same depths as Drexciya’s “Fusion Flats” and mighty claps. “Vulcan” does not have the same level of dance floor engagement, but here Bunnik’s synths are deeper and more layered, enveloping the on-off backing rhythm and at times overpowering it. The choice of remixer is also inspired and XDB from Metrolux delivers two versions of “Spoiled.” The first “reshape” is all about the surging, tone-shifting bass, which like the original version, plumbs depths most Detroit-inspired productions do not reach. The original track’s synths are still audible but are relegated to the background, playing second fiddle to the kind of sub-sonic bass tones that made 2009’s “Cagomi” a classic. The second “reshape” is dubbier and more restrained but also denser, as more elements vie for the listener’s attention. XDB’s heavy bass sound is still at the heart of the arrangement, but it competes with a series of analogue bleep, jarring riffs and churning chords. That it’s encased by heavy metallic drums also tempers XDB’s bass; but having experienced both the remixer and Conforce himself reach the depths that most of their producer peers can only dream of, it’s a fitting finale and rounds off one of the finest neo-Detroit releases of recent years.

Blaktony  on April 28, 2011 at 7:39 AM

Have 2 give him props. This is nice.

Paul Chillage  on April 28, 2011 at 10:06 AM

Fantastic release. His “Machine Conspiracy” album was one of my favourites last year.

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