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|24 February 2018||
Basicnoise - Subcode
Since he stepped onto the dub techno scene circa 2008, Germany-stationed Peter Fanai a.k.a. Basicnoise has produced a rich sum of wonderful works which were released on such beloved dub techno netlabels as Schall and Deepindub, paving further path down his musical journey through personal imprints Klangschleife and Hexachord. Perhaps the most impactful and enchanting gathering of his efforts is contained within a six-tracker Signals, the fact of which points to an evident progression of skill, given that Signals was his most recent release to come before Subcode. With Subcode, however, Fanai has managed to vault forward still further.
Combining dub techno and subtle tech house elements in nothing short of entrancing manner, the titular composition musically reproduces 10 minutes-lasting urban ambiance of an evening in an ordinarily busy metropolis, where the warmly shining street lamps shed on bypassers' traffic create a sense of illumination and festivity represented by bouncy, soft kicks and occasional strikes against tonally-active hand drums; yet, there is a crucial, underlying level to the scene that counterparts the picture radically—the one of impenetrable apathy and an infinite melancholy, represented by faint—yet acutely poignant chimes, clutching—though barely perceptible ambiance, cunningly arcing from afar after a gradual emergence at the backdrop of meticulously well polished, immaculate pads that inarguably elevate classic dub techno sounding to a higher altitude.
As satisfying as it would be to say that things continue to be as prodigious, the truth is that the cheesily uttered and contrivedly intimate feminine vocal bits scattered over the following piece, ethereal and virtually unobtrusive as they are, aren't fitting too well with the other elements and are tasteless in the context of the music they are laid over, unavoidably shifting the focus to their favor and turning Affection—formed by innocently resonating, wooing pads, unassuming stabs and tender ambiance—to a verging lust; it should be said that the production quality remains at a decent level, but even if the vocals' matter is to be ignored the verdict would read that the emotional impact is now given over to minimalism and slickness, rendering it a more accessible, undemanding listen—still, not without its charm.
While the conclusive number does offer a warmer touch that feels closer in nature to the opener—which is immediately perceivable from the constantly incoming waves of soft noise whose gain swiftly fades and raises in response to being side-chained to the first of kicks running in triplets—it also does incorporate the female vocals once more, but thankfully, to a better effect than its forerunner; ostensibly offered to a granular synthesizer, the vocal bits featured here spin and flitter through channels, going in and out of audible range in a seemingly arbitrary manner, aiding in extension of spatial boundaries to undulating fields of accompanying ambiance set behind lush, yet detached foreground melodies gliding over the lower layer of more dolorous, anxiety-stricken synths that assign Float a strangely befitting sense of unease.
Words by rhetor.
Release Type: EP
Release Date: 24 February 2018
Release Format: Digital
Record Label • Catalog: Klangschleife • KS013