Tobias. & Efdemin, Phantasma Vol. 1

[Diamonds & Pearls Music]

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To anyone who’s been following house and techno recently, a split EP by Efdemin and Tobias. sounds like a sure shot. The former has delivered several years of ceaseless quality, while the latter had an especially impressive run in 2008. Both are at a point where it seems they can do no wrong. Unfortunately, “Phantasma Vol. 1” disproves this notion. As the first installment in a series on Diamond & Pearls Music, it’s decent at best — more than can be said for plenty of releases in general, but much less than we’ve come to expect from these two.

Tobias. starts the record off well enough. “Clapper” is a lean and suspenseful big room track, with sinister synth cascades and a delirious sense of urgency that would work well in a long set. Nonetheless, it is distinctly less compelling than his excellent output from last year, and is unlikely to have the same staying power as anything from “I Can’t Fight The Feeling.” On the B-side, Efdemin’s contribution has fewer redeeming qualities. “Hope” sounds like a throw away track, consisting of little more than a decent beat and a nice bass line. It’s cut from the same cloth as “America/The Pulse,” but lacks the blue note allure that often makes Efdemin an exceptional artist. “Clapper” is worth the price of a digital download, but I’d recommend passing on “Phantasma Vol. 1” overall, despite the names that appear on the sleeve.

harpomarx42  on April 21, 2009 at 9:07 PM

I agree, these are both great tracks (especially ‘Hope), but they just aren’t signature. If I was Efdemin, I might have added Obama samples (unless that is just TOO cliché)

RoK  on April 21, 2009 at 10:31 PM

Both tracks work extremely well in the mix, I’d imagine though..

littlewhiteearbuds  on April 21, 2009 at 10:41 PM

Efdemin’s is barely there to mix with, not sure what affect it would have even though I see what he was going for. Personally, Tobias’s track is decent and would work out OK in a set, but it’s not a stretch for the venerable master.

chris  on April 21, 2009 at 10:49 PM

i wish i could disagree. it’s a fine enough ep… but i mean come on, it’s efdemin AND tobias, likely two buy on sight names for most of us. and yet it’s just a fine ep. sounds like they kind of phoned it in.

i really had high hopes with two highly highly esteemed and fantastic producers (especially on diamonds and pearls) but i feel let down.

Chris Burkhalter  on April 22, 2009 at 12:14 AM

I agree that “Clapper” doesn’t reach the level of the ‘I Can’t Fight The Feeling’ stuff, but I think its pretty incredible, all the same. I’ll need to spend some more time with it, but for now I’m thrilled with it.

knievel  on April 22, 2009 at 4:13 AM

yeah. could really have left that one in the store. just boring… compared to the expectations…

Joe H  on April 22, 2009 at 4:39 AM

Yeah, both lack something to bring them together & they just seem so bare, lonely, & cold. However, after listening to Efdemin’s DnP mix I can see where these sort of tracks would slot into a set, especially for Efdemin. Personally, I’m not feeling them & was expecting more from this release.

bob barker  on April 22, 2009 at 12:32 PM

Way to go.. i love it when comments just reinforce the original sentiment. nice thinking.

chrisdisco  on April 23, 2009 at 3:20 AM

agreed on the efdemin, but not on the tobias. love it. monster of a track. heard it on a big sound system last weekend and wow. yes, it is not as subtle as ‘can’t fight the feeling’ but i don’t know why it has to be. what’s wrong with him doing a big track? he can do it. that’s for sure.

hutlock  on April 23, 2009 at 8:46 AM

Yeah, I really like “Clapper” a lot. I think ya’ll are being a bit too harsh on it.

littlewhiteearbuds  on April 23, 2009 at 8:58 AM

It’s not that “Clapper” is bad in any way; it’s certainly this EP’s bright spot. Personally, I’m just not used to Freund repeating himself. He’s shown us so many sides of himself that seeing the sameish side again has less impact.

Will Lynch  on April 23, 2009 at 10:03 AM

yeah, I definitely like Clapper (and in fact, recommend buying it in this review). But when a producer is on such a roll, it’s hard not to notice when the momentum ebbs…

chrisdisco  on April 24, 2009 at 6:04 AM

hmm. i guess i am just a sucker for an old school riff… is this available on mp3? i need to get off my ass and get a copy…

Chris Burkhalter  on April 24, 2009 at 4:53 PM

Haven’t seen digital yet. Been waiting a while for it…

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