Angina P: 8 Rooms

A few years ago, Elliot Perkins retired his Phonem guise—a sad day for this listener, considering how distinctive the fusion of breakbeats and melodic washes sounded on the Morr Music albums Hydro Electric and Ilisu. That spirit is reincarnated to some degree in Vienna-based producer Angina P (the name taken from the throat inflammation that plagued her while growing up) whose 8 Rooms often resembles a Phonem-Photek merger. Notwithstanding that characterization, the album—two years in the making—defies easy categorization as its eight compositions (five originals plus remixes) draw from the full electronic spectrum with especial emphasis on ambient, drum & bass, and breakbeat (she herself notes on the sleeve that her music “is too loud for ambient, too tidy for breakcore, too slow for drum & bass, too mainstream for experimental, and too dance-oriented for IDM”).

Like Phonem, Angina P's tracks pair intricate breaks with tonal overlays that verge on symphonic they're so lush. The greatest listening pleasure, though, comes from simply witnessing the hypnotically inventive beatsmithing. The drum clatter in “No Time To Bleed,” for instance, kicks in with a heavily-reverbed, Photek-styled oomph that's wonderful to behold. Semiomime (aka DJ Hidden), Edgey (Stephen James Knight), and Larvae clearly know their way around a break too, judging by their lethal drum & bass- and epic breakcore-inflected mixes of “Known Issues,” “No Time To Bleed,” and “Placemat Club,” respectively. All this and a perfect 45-minute running time too.

January 2007