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SOTE - Electric Deaf

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Artist: SOTE

Album: Electric Deaf

Label: Warp

Review date: Jul. 15, 2002

Guess they call this distorted electro or something based on another review I read. Dunno, I can't keep up on the names for all the trends, nor do I want to. Tech-step, house, drum'n'bass, whatever. It's electronic music with rhythms or anti-rhythms. On this EP it falls somewhere in-between those two extremes, I guess. Plenty of rhythmic content without being tied down to...a steady rhythm. If you know what I mean.

"Electric Deaf" is a nine-minute cut with zoom whoosh clatter bleep going on, filtered and tweaked as might be expected. This must not be house, because it's not boring, so that's one gold star. The rhythm's chopped up and uneven, but it stays on the 1 often enough that you can nod your head to it alright, and probably dance to it. I wouldn't know. I didn't try. Some of the Kraftwerk-derived synth sounds repeat a bit too much, but they do lend some much-needed melody to the proceedings so I won't complain. Does the track need to be 9 minutes long to say everything it's got to say? Not really, no, but since you're probably supposed to be a DJ and mix this with other shit, I don't suppose that matters. And it makes my cortex wiggle, so I think it's doing its job.

"Subconscious (Pure Mix)," another 8+ minute extravaganza, opens with a snare shuffle-ride rhythm which then settles down into a more prosaic deep-bass jungle sorta thing I guess. Grooverider-style space-bass, which I definitely don't have any problem with. Some vocal sampling actually fits in okay, and more Kraftwerk-derived synth plops a melodic hat on top of it all to good effect. This is the cut to which to drive your chopped-and-lowered Falcon down the highway while the crystal makes 120 mph seem like go-cart speed. Not that I'm recommending that, mind you.

Anyway, not bad. Not bad at all.

By Mason Jones

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