Chantal Acda
The Balustrade Ensemble
Ten Favourite Labels 2015

Chantal Acda
The Balustrade Ensemble
Basic Soul Unit
Bersarin Quartett
Bing & Ruth
Wil Bolton
Ian William Craig
Cryo Chamber Collab.
Dikeman Noble Serries
Paul Ellis
Ensemble Economique
Reiko Füting
Jim Ghedi
Hakobune & Dirk Serries
Mary Halvorson
Chihei Hatakeyama
Iskra String Quartet
Mano Le Tough
Deborah Martin
Lubomyr Melnyk
Multicast Dynamics
James Murray
Mute Forest
New Order
Ø [Phase]
Post Office
Nadia Reid
Max Richter
Will Samson
Time Is a Mountain
Michael Trommer
Tuxedo. / Cult W. No Name
Understated Theory
Zero T

Compilations / Mixes / Remixes / Reissues
Sylvain Chauveau
John Foxx & Harold Budd
Mathew Jonson
Le Freak

EPs / Cassettes / DVDs / Mini-Albums / Singles
Mr. Bios
Zero T / LSB / T. Prose / FD

Mr. Bios: Color Slide EP
Chez.Kito.Kat Records

Christophe Biache initiated his Mr Bios project as a DJ in the mid-90s, an experience that naturally led him to start creating his own material and the eventual release of his first EP in 2011. Leap ahead four years and his second EP, Color Slide, arrives, this one a generously stuffed thirty-seven-minute set of multi-dimensional character. Each of its seven seasoned cuts exposes a slightly different facet of the Mr Bios persona, with the material variously drawing from minimal techno, dub, house, and jazz. Assembled using analogue synthesizers and filled with synthetic strings, ambient textures, and percussive detail, Biache's material impresses as both polished and sophisticated.

Throughout the recording, Biache gives equal attention to the tracks' dance and sound design dimensions. While it swings heavily enough, “220” is also rich in texture and colour, densely filled as it is with mallet-like percussion sounds and chattering birds. Echo effects and reverb treatments point the laid-back pulse of “Spring” in a dub direction, after which “Cobalt” serves up a considerably more aggressive take on the form. With a muscular bass-and-drum combination locking into position, Biache scatters flickering chords and sweeping gusts of wind across the grooving base. Said gusts swell to even larger proportions during “Modifiers,” but so too does the rhythmic thrust in a punchy roller whose forceful chug is as much about techno and house as dub. Pretty much every track is club-functional, but “From P.A.” might be the biggest floor-filler in that regard, due to the seductive allure of its low-riding funk groove (the jazzy keyboard solo doesn't hurt, either). All told, Color Slide is a classic example of a recording whose material is fully functional as dance music yet satisfies on pure listening grounds, too.

November 2015