freon150 ep

Seems like trace is turning to be a bit shy (or busy). He has just released an ep, freon150, in roterfleck netlabel. It contains four songs and nice artwork (including even a wallpaper!). Everything has been made by him - and you'll note that easily. I'll start my analysis with the artwork as it's what one can see meanwhile the first song starts to shape.

The design is pretty stylish, and a word which could describe it is poisonous. You see those pills and can't really trust them, may be like the poison gas of The Rock, may be simply what appear to be sweet at the beginning but can have a bad surprise inside when you have eaten all the cover. You'll simply be careful!

And about the songs. It starts very progressively with Introducing. It's kind of scary with that beeping sound, and those dark strings which seem like somebody is running after you and will catch you if you aren't faster than him. Then more elements are added giving it more pressure, until the percussion enters. It's not a typical 4x4 drum line, instead is like broken, so you are a bit disconcerted while another beeping synth line enters over and previous ones somehow dissappear. You feel completely nervous now. If somebody touched your shoulder now you'll probably scream! Now the rhythm continues and makes some strange, subtle changes, adding more and more dissonant sounds while removing others, like alternating layers. And finally they start dissappearing - just when you think you are scared of something - don't know what!

Dark Ship starts with more long dark bass lines, which somehow could remind you of a boat siren. But it won't last too much. Some acid bass lines appear and suddenly a light drum does too. You would expect something more powerful - it's trace's music isn't it? But he compensates adding some weird random sounds, like industrial or alien ones. In the middle there's like an hypnotic pad which gets compensated early by the same elements which appeared at the beginning. It has some space-alike sounding at all. So we have evolved from a dark boat to an alien spatial ship. Quite interesting atmosphere transition. Around 4:10 we get to what could define as trace's sound v.2: something 4x4 but with more worked arrangements. It's a pity it ends so quickly then!

Now it starts Velociraptor. This song was made a bit before the others, so you'll note the sound is a bit different. It has a loop which now I don't remember where I have listened to it before. Also there's an strange vocoded voice talking about a velociraptor. May it be a scientific trapped in his laboratory? It stops, some cut off filters are applied and then the rhythm starts again. It's interesting to see the pads responsing to the high compression of the song, and all the games with the synth textures.

Finally there's Autech02. One could wonder if he's been influenced by Autechre - I would say yes but in fact I think he's got lots of other influences. This features some slow ghostly pads at the beginning and builds a whole arrangement sequentially by adding more instruments slowly. This is paced down, somehow like if there was some presence in a studio triggering sequences and muting and unmuting channels with some strange intention in mind, while playing some evil pads in the keyboard. Everything seems quite mysterious, so there's again that dark atmosphere he manages to create. He also dares to add variations to his dark pad sequences, by introducing some major ones. Finally after that major chords extravaganza which is like the hill on the road, the song starts going down, some sounds appear and all other dissappear, except for a sad synth which remains there - reminding of something which was here for a while.

My conclussion? This is quite weird and original. Is it bad? No! But because it's different, you have to listen to it several times until you start to understand the concept. I like to explain this in another manner: when you listen to typical music, your ears aren't really listening but expecting to listen something. So they hope to find crashes, chorus, repeats, etc. For the case of this EP, you can't find a typical structure so it will make you find a bit uncomfortable - your ears will be wondering: hey what is this? I haven't listened to this before! And that is good... fresh sounds are always good: they keep your creative brain working!

C'mon trace... We want more strange weird music by trazzzzzzzza :-) !!!