I feel a little like being pushed between a rock and a hard place. I personally can’t find the Solar Eclipse EP by Budapest-based producer Chris.SU (out on Eatbrain since December 5th) all that entertaining, and yet people seem to appreciate it very much.
Don’t get me wrong: I honestly think that blasted through a PA on a dancefloor, in the heat of bodies crazily waving their limbs in the air, the strobes, the smoke, the lasers… yes, it’s gonna be awesome, especially after some beers. But when I hear new music, even dance music, I always try to find some kind of way to enjoy listening to it, and not only imagine how it would be dancing on its beat. Sure, this 5-track work is very punchy, progressively moving from a neurofunk start towards a more linear and fluid DnB character in the end, with very rich bass patches and well embedded drums; but on the other hand it lacks harmonic variation in-track and even among the tracks. No, I’m not thinking about great halls, flashy clothes, white curly wigs and harpsichords; I’m talking about the fact that a whole tune is based on a single fundamental note; better than that? In four out of five consequent tracks that note is the same. Maybe I’m biased by Chris’ classical background as a cellist or the fact that he was one of the first in the neurofunk scene with JADE, also from Budapest and featuring in the title track Solar Eclipse; maybe it’s me expecting too much eclecticism in a single guy; or maybe it’s just the fact that, among the many good releases from Eatbrain we reviewed in the past, this is the first that left me kind of torn on the inside.
“Ok…”, you might say, “…it’s a dance track, so what? It doesn’t need all that! ” And I’d have to agree with you, but as I said I always try to listen to music, and frankly I don’t find much to listen to here. Let’s be honest, the vast majority of time we spend listening to music is not at the club; it’s either on our headphones on the go or on our computer in our bedroom, so we do need something to focus our attention on.
I can enjoy tunes based on single notes, drones and such, but then their sound design must be impeccable, original, catchy, interesting, and so have to be their melodies: they must keep your mind and ears glued to the evolving track. Unfortunately, just like all of you, I’ve heard a lot of “WoWoWoWo”, “sqUIEEEEERK” and the like to find them more original than the track from the next guy, and they get real boring real fast if left alone to sustain the whole tune. The atmosphere is very apocalyptic where the tension releases, and it sets the theme very well; when the beat starts again you get that feeling of running from the zombies chasing you, as I understand was the intention for this EP. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s enough. Also, what I’m trying to say is: this is not a bad EP per se, it’s just that it could have come from anyone, anywhere in the world and I wouldn’t have noticed a single difference. So, again, on one hand it’s a nice dance EP, on the other hand I couldn’t listen to it even while walking around in the city, on my headphones as background soundtrack, it got boring: rock, hard place and this review in the middle. I’d probably give it 3 Jakes. Best track? Complexity.
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