Opening track “Indifference” is menacing and vaguely futuristic, with crisp rolling drums, glitchy, faded synths and industrial samples that all work very well together to create a tune that is dance-y enough to be Dubstep but clever enough to be Electronica. Melody is scarce but mood abounds and it is well produced. A great opening track to the album and my appetite for dark, clanky sounds was well and truly whetted.
Second track “The End Result” kicks off with some frazzled sounding synths and more sci-fi samples, piquing my interest. Then some familiar sounding beats arrive, I realize that the reason I am enjoying the sounds on this EP are because I used a lot of them myself. This is a Reason album, by which I mean that it was composed, at least partly, on Reason 3, the awesome all-in-one music package from Propellerhead. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it is disconcerting to hear so many distinctive sounds from my own pretty cruddy EP used in someone else’s music. Then I hit my second problem, the intro to “The End Result” segues into …well nothing really. It just keeps going with no real melody, nothing to latch onto. It sounds good, but there’s not really a song or tune in there.
“Forewarning” is a similarly slow-paced tune, that is again in dubstep territory but with a weak bassline and sparse drums, there is little atmosphere and again we are lacking anything like a memorable melody. This is very loop based and while that can work very well, this feels like a backing track. It sorely needs a point of interest, which a metallic sounding synth line and some obscured vocal samples don’t really provide. It also repeats its one idea for the duration of the 4 minutes and 44 seconds of the track.
Track four, “Fluid”, is more of the same in a vaguely industrial style. There are nice sounds but the track lacks identity, and this lack of anything for the ear to grab hold of means it is easily forgettable. The track is not aided by plodding industrial beats, a surprising dip in Subduxtions quality control, because one thing he does very well with Black Saturn is beat construction.
Fifth track “Disconnekt” starts out with a shifty beat and some neat 80’s synth, but yet again there is barely a nod to the idea of a tune, and once you’re a minute into the track you’ve pretty much heard everything that it’s going to do. It would make great incidental music, but if you’re entire attention is focused on it, there really is very little substance.
Penultimate track “What Is War” appears and I realize that the initial rush of excitement from “Indifference” seems a long time ago, and I am starting to think about what I want for dinner. Despite Subduxtion’s good ear for production values and cool sounds, this release is not holding my attention. So it makes the exciting and relatively fast paced “What Is War” a blessed relief when it shows up. Glitchy, drill’n’bass style beats are teamed up with bursts of static and distant space-battle synths to create something that ruffles my ennui.
Final tune “Syntetic” walks down the same road of post-apocalyptic robot nightmares as the rest of the album, with shimmering droney-synths and sub bass being well complemented by crackle and pop beats that are barely there, but give a neat structure to something that would otherwise sound like a field recording of an oven in the future
It redeems my opinion of this album, although it suffers from some of the same flaws, ie: over reliance on loops and a lack of melody, with mid-tempo being the only tempo. In his work with Black Saturn (which I thoroughly enjoy), the vocals fill in all the gaps, resulting in some memorable and exciting tunes, but at present Subduxtion on his own is still a developing sound, albeit one to keep an eye on.
check http://www.myspace.com/subduxtion for more