Magit Cacoon: Other Dimension

With nine dancefloor tracks framed by the requisite ambient intro and outro, Other Dimension checks off all of the expected ‘artist album' boxes—not that there's anything terribly objectionable about that, so long as the quality of the material in question transcends the artist's adherence to such conventions. The long-player in question is by Magit Cacoon, who spent her formative years in Tel Aviv, Israel before relocating to Berlin and embracing the city's club culture and electronic music scene. Though Cacoon operates her own label, Girl Scout, which she launched in 2011, her career experienced a significant advance when she teamed up with Upon.You for the release of her 2012 single, “A Place To Dream About,” a move that in turn brought her to the production of a debut album written and produced in collaboration with Oliver Deutschmann.

As mentioned, the hour-long album coaxes the listener into Cacoon's world with a delicate yet nonetheless sultry ambient intro, “Plant M,” before the album proper gets underway. With its insistent 4/4 pulse liberally adorned with atmospheric treatments, “Crime (Who's Afraid Of Berlin)” makes a convincing case for Cacoon as a club-focused producer, even if nothing radically innovative transpires. More compelling by comparison is the ear-catching “Love Express,” whose ever-mutating vocal loop calls Steve Reich's “Come Out” to mind as much as it does a hypnotic house jam by Nina Kraviz. Memorable too are the title track for the way Cacoon batters its gradual buildup with percussive flourishes and “No Compromise” for the bubbling bass line and synthesizer spritzes that give the tune such kick.

At times, Cacoon threads her voice into a track's arrangement, a move that not only personalizes the material but also lends it a sensual quality it otherwise wouldn't have. The sweeping house swing of “Freedom is Timeless,” for instance, is given a dramatic boost when she scatters her breathy voice across its chunky house chords and Detroit-inflected pulse. And lest one forget, a brief mid-album soundscape called “Oddity Sound” shows up to remind listeners that Other Dimension aspires to be more than merely a collection of club bangers, something the synth-heavy excursion “Orion” reiterates at album's close. In general, Other Dimension's polished set-pieces provide incontrovertible evidence of Cacoon's skills as a sound designer and arranger though they make a less compelling case for her as an innovator. That said, feverish throwdowns like “Love Express” and “No Compromise” provide enough aural pleasures that little else is needed to argue on the album's behalf when such material arises.

May 2015