Shamanic Technology: Doorways
Herb Recordings

Imagine a Plaid-Boards Of Canada-Bola fusion and you're on your way to imagining the sound of Doorways, the new Shamanic Technology collection by Bournemouth-based producer Chris Hare. But don't get the wrong idea; though such influences are definitely audible (something the creator himself would likely concede), Hare banishes obtuseness and distills the best qualities of those artists' styles into a dynamic, hour-long hybrid that pairs sleek funk and hip-hop pulses with voice samples, serpentine synthesizer melodies, and loads of radiant atmosphere. Two years in the making, Doorways impresses as uniformly excellent on both production and compositional grounds.

Following a one-minute overture, “Shamanic Technology (Floating in Ayahuasca)” immediately catches one's attention with its deep and hard-hitting funk groove and the synthesizer fireworks that follow soon after. “Ode to the Machine” likewise merges a lurching Boards of Canada-styled funk pulse with fiery synth work and throws in a voice sample to boot. In high-grade material that's by turns trippy, snarling, and menacing (e.g., “Thought Bubble Experiment”), Hare's rhythmning in particular deserves mention, with a cut like “Xtractions” taken to a whole new level by the snap and punch of its broken beatwork. Like his aforementioned brethren, Hare occasionally slows the momentum with beatless interludes such as “Phonic Sky” and “Moments of Reflection” before slamming back into formation with the seductively funky snake-charmer “Electronic Therapy” and the euphoric head-nod snap of “Pathseeker.” Though admittedly derivative, Doorways nevertheless shows itself to be a fresh and invigorating collection. Certainly Hare has chosen his moniker well, given the music's shamanistic properties.

August 2009