Scsi-9: The Line of Nine

The finely wrought, dub-inflected microhouse that graces Scsi-9's full-length Kompakt debut is surprisingly downtempo but delicious. Moscow-born DJ Anton Kubikov's ravishing cuts are unerring in the number and placement of their subtle details. One basks in the warm percolating soul of “Little Leaves Fall” and delights in Kubikov's coy integration of Debussy's familiar piano chords into the bumping groove of the quietly jubilant “Eclair de Lune.” Vocals occasionally appear, like the entrancing female voice that surfaces amidst the minimal clanking tech-house of “Endlich” and the hypnotic singing that graces “The Line of Nine” (“Line of nine / It's in my mind”), with Kubikov at times slicing the voice into stuttering edits. In addition, strings hover over the surging tech-house groove in “Elegia” while a tiny, mournful melody cascades elegantly alongside a rich array of percussion accents. Despite the gleam of its bell tones, “Senorita Tristeza” likewise conjures a Spanish melancholy that's sweetly affecting, especially when bolstered by the warm flow of its (presumably simulated) acoustic bass lines, while the aptly-named “Sweets and Love” by contrast overflows with infectious exuberance. Though a relaxed vibe reigns, Kubikov finds room for propulsion too in the lulling opener “Teplyi Dym” and on glorious trance cuts like “On the Edge” and the throbbing “Albali.” Admittedly, The Line of Nine is a long album at seventy-six minutes but one whose elegant chill is maintained by Kubikov's unerring hand throughout.

June 2006