Audion: Mouth To Mouth
Spectral Sound

Sami Koivikko: Pääjääsä
Spectral Sound

Though Matthew Dear's previous Audion material documented a rather lethal side of his music-making, the two tracks on his latest 12-inch constitute the perfect soundtrack for a Trepanning session. “Mouth to Mouth” opens rather innocently, loping into view with a self-effacing clickety gait. But Dear slathers on the insanity promptly, starting with cut-throat hi-hats, handclaps, and then the coup de grace, a rising shuttle blast that ascends into the stratosphere, spewing fuel and smoke all over. The tension builds as Dear tightens the ostinato grip and repeats the rising whoosh, strafing it with ammo-fire and other sputter. Apparently a highlight of the2006 Detroit Electronic Music Festival, the tune deftly shows the brilliant mileage Dear gets using a modicum of elements. The B-side's rocking shuffle “Hot Air” makes for a natural complement as it too exploits a sliding hook, this one ascending alongside a burning throb of neon-lit synth lasers, and generates a vibe that's equally relaxed and threatening. Put simply, club-ready cuts of the first rank.

Sharing the Spectral tarmac with Dear is Finnish prodigy and umlaut fetishist Sami Koivikko who weaves elastic tech-house throughout his 12-inch debut. The title cut “Pääjääsä” unspools into a swinging strutter, its chugging base besieged by all manner of electro flares and acidic splinters. “Dore” pitter-putters in classic techno style, prodded by a persistent bass line, double-time hi-hat pulses, and a nicely-timed kalimba pluck, before turning metallic and slithery as it charges to its finish. Closer “Pientare” maintains the galloping pace but not so feverishly that one can't study the acidy twists and turns of its bleeding bass lines. A more than credible debut, yet Pääjääsä can't help but pale slightly when heard alongside Dear's imaginative explorations.

October 2006