Various Artists, Lo-Fi Soundsystem



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Stephen Hitchell continues to plumb the depths of dub-influenced techno to bring us further crucial low range soundscapes via the echospace [detroit] and Intrusion labels. His recent cv313 release “Sailing Stars” found him geting deliciously minimal with the cuts all employing a less is more approach to their output. Here Hitchell calls in assistance from kindred spirits Mildiou and Lo-Fi Soundsystem to further engage fans of dub-rooted house and techno. Intrusion’s “Velocity In A Minor” is a reductionist slice of dub house and one of the more restrained productions I’ve heard from Hitchell. The repeated chords are reverberated and bounced around in a small closet rather than a cavernous hall with the effect levels kept to a comparative minimum, leaving “Velocity In A Minor” slightly less dreamy than usual for an Intrusion production.

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Everything I’ve read so far about this release states that the next artist, Lo-Fi Soundsystem, has released under a string of different names in Jamaica; but with no available proof of this and given the nature of the track, I’m guessing it’s someone from the echospace crew up to some sly name-foolery. In any case, “De Lions Den” is a skanking dub, crackling with burnt out vinyl scars and infused with a thick swampy dose of melodica. Timing in at a scant four minutes twenty it feels unjustly short, though that’s nothing a few repeated listens or back to backs won’t fix. Mildiou, however, is Frenchman Alexandre Lehmann, who also goes under the names Zzzzra and Unique. His “De Natura Return” fires off chords stabs in mechanical fashion, creating mushroom clouds of reverb around them, letting the tubby bass line carry the melody of the track. Intrusion returns with “OceanView” full of sloppy off-beat percussion and half time melancholic groove. As a companion piece to the 4/4 “Velocity In A Minor” it is its complimentary opposite, all languid and loose as opposed to the tighter, more structured grooves of the former. The digital version of the release features an Intrusion remix of Mildiou’s track, which adds some more warmth to the stark rhythms and peppers it with subtle, hand slapped drums. These tracks may not sound too different from any others in the Intrusion or echospace back catalog, but given their unquestionable quality they serve only to bolster the reputation of this fine label.

Ulterior  on October 7, 2009 at 9:30 PM

always beautiful


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