Aaron Spectre: Lost Tracks
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Lost tracks? Thankfully not. Putting his Drumcorps alias aside for this outing, Aaron Spectre's first full-length under his given name collects nine arresting pieces written in New York and Berlin over a span of six years. The mood is largely melancholy and the beats downtempo but that only makes it all the easier to bask in the warm glow of stirring meditations like “Dulcimer” where the instrument's shimmering plucks loudly swell into reverberant masses. The collection's heavy on dreamy atmosphere but never lapses into somnambulance, and credit goes to Spectre for sculpting atmospheres so richly textured they hold one's attention throughout.

“Half Silver” merges willowy fields of fuzzy textural sputter and clanking snares into a languid dubscape, while the oldest piece, “The Wrong Fuel,” builds electronic streams into dense, droning thickets of glitch, whistling tones, and scratchy beats. The material's dreamy aura reaches its zenith in “Degrees” when Kazumi's delicate murmur floats alongside the resonant pluck of guitar and over the urgent thrust of Spectre's beats. His seven originals are joined by two remixes, a sparkling makeover of Aarktica's “Ocean,” whose symphonic, crystalline surge would sound even better minus Jon DeRosa's singing, and Lapsed's electronic hip-hop throwdown “Break Ya Neck” in which Spectre manages to, once again, squeeze in a dreamy dulcimer moment or two. Like much of the album's material, the rumbling hip-hop cut “Down In The Gutter” and loping throbber “Morning Under Leaves” reveal that one of Spectre's greatest talents lies in beat constructions, regardless of whether they're of the scratchy, glitch-soaked, broken, or clanking type.

August 2007