Another Electronic Musician: States of Space

The release of Jase Rex's fourth full-length under the Another Electronic Musician guise for n5MD, States of Space, brings with it a major change in Rex's working methods: while his previous tracks were created virtually using a software-based process, the new album shifts the production methodology to a more tactile, hardware-based studio approach. Such a change hasn't lessened the clarity or melodicism of his Another Electronic Musician style; if anything, the new album features some of his most uplifting music to date, as exemplified by the quietly jubilant “Fields and Axioms,” which rolls along with a jaunty spring in its techno step for six joyous minutes, and “Memetic,” which Rexe infuses with radiant ambiance.

In keeping with Rex's previous AEM releases, the new material possesses a pristine quality that's as richly detailed as a Pole or Lusine production. Though the tracks are densely layered, the full spectrum of frequencies and pitches can be heard with the utmost clarity in the album's ten pieces. While prodominantly electronic in timbre, an occasional piano or guitar will surface to add acoustic flavour to the material, and the tracks cover a generous range of styles. The thump of minimal techno swagger anchors many a track (e.g., “She Said”), and the vowel-deprived “Fnctnl” unspools dreamily as warm, dubby splashes of synthetic colour wrap themselves around a relaxed, mid-tempo pulse. Chiming pianos and burbling keyboards brighten the surging house swing of “Inflationary,” and things even get a wee bit funky during “Fourteen Waters,” which at times sounds as if Rexe is trying on a sleek Chicago house-styled suit to check its fit. Especially dazzling is “Atheos,” which unfurls as an epic trance workout before dismantling itself at track's end. Though Rex's working methods might have changed, there's no grand statements on States of Space, just the sound of a gifted producer continuing to refine his craft.

March 2010