Aboutface – Coordinates #1 (Coordinates, 2018)

Deep dubby techno sweetness on a stellar, killer EP.

Like looking down a shallow yet never ending well, the music contained within this EP never seems to stop. It swells, it grooves, dips and excites, it tantalises, probes and radiates, all in equal measure. A pleasurable listening experience, yes, a phenomenal listening experience, for sure. Aboutface clocks in two soundscapes that is part DJrum, part Burial, part Trans-MT, part Electro Music Union, part so many other good things. Two separate journeys that will have you hooked from the very off, two deep excursions into the depths of sound and bliss and back again.

Already well known for his epic and lengthy compositions, such as ‘In the Tepid Shine we Breathe’ EP from 2016, that displays a more dancy side to his sound; 2015’s ‘The Hazy Path to Misunderstanding EP’ (that includes an epic Tin Man remix) again shows his credentials at emotive techno, one that works well on the dark dance floor but also as a pleasurable at home listening (deep in the night is a suggested listening time). Here, Aboutface lends a hand to a more blissed out excursion, where tropical beats and swirling pads take over from deep rolling drums, subtle vocals provide contexts between scenes, and they just seem more ambitious and scaled than ever before. The two tunes related to coordinates within the world, both relating to very different contexts: one location is set in Lincolnshire, and the other in Mexico, and the songs explore the relationship that bats have with these locations. Lets have a wee listen then, and see how this interoperation plays out.

The A side, ‘16°45’37.0″N 92°43’20.6″W (excuse the blue underlined word, just that it a real pain in the arse to re type this!) starts off with a light kick, with humming synths gliding around top. This drift further forward, like waves swelling and growing as they move closer to the coast. Light flute like synth keys signify a short break, before jungle drums groove over the re introduced kick drum. The synths continue on their journey, receding for a moment, before giving back for the flute keys once again. He expertly creates a series of transitions that focus on different elements, brilliantly allowing elements to recede then swell once again. The synths kick back in here, providing their gentle simplicity to add a backdrop to all that is going on in front. Everything then fades, giving way to violin strings, elegantly placed within such a dub techno feel, much like Drjum and his productions that simply allow space for many elements. Once again, everything recedes, the drums and synth line working together once again. This feels like the true bedrock of the song, where other elements can feed off and develop from. Another synth line kicks in again, and the tune reaches yet another climax, where a vocal comes into play. This leads into yet another emotive vibe with the violins, that introduces a dirty Ozel AB style synth line, that kicks the tune further. All along, it feels like the song was building to this moment, everything giving away in its own time, before triumphantly building into something with a slowed down yet feverish energy. Aboutface seems to be having a huge amount of fun here, messing around big time on the keys, like a solo of sorts. Pure bliss from start to finish, oh what a fine journey it was.

Side B, 53°06’06.5″N 0°11’27.5″W‘, again starts off with light kicks and swelling synths. From the off, it feels like these might play a bigger part in this tune than other elements. Crunchy earthy vibes play around delightfully, with a beautiful organic beat gently grooving along underneath the deepest of pads. These really do start up high and dive down real deep, into a deep pool, down a dark deep carve, into your mind. A little bit more straight up than the other tune, a break down brings in more elements, such as further one line synths that shudder and creak, with the drums moving away but moving back in very well. Overall, the track is more simple, but leaves more space for the listener to think and dream. The first track really takes you away with its story, but here Aboutface seems to allow for the listener to imagine and think about the scene he wants to create, rather than his view of it. Beautiful, it really is.

This is one of those EPs that is ambitious and daring, ya know two tracks both at ten minutes long. But you wouldn’t care, its just that everything fits together perfectly; bags of heart, bags of imagery, context and soul, this has it all. Through the elegant drums, to the heavy hitting yet soft synths, this ep has just about everything you want from an electronic EP. Take a bow, mate, top draw shit.

support the troops:

https://aboutface.bandcamp.com/album/coordinates-1-bonus-edition

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