Crucial EP Volume 2 [CRUCIAL020]

When putting this review together I realised that I now own about half of Crucial’s discography on vinyl, some of those being my most cherished; Oxóssi’s Solace EP, Samba’s Malignant EP and Moonstones’ Yen Pox (this one is very special to me). Just like Crucial EP Volume 1, it’s a strong collection of work by some of the best names in the scene.

Kicking off Volume 2 is TMSV and Van Dam. TMSV’s technical and mechanical sound shines through on ‘Qanun Fodder’, with his snappy hi-hats and crisp percussion darting between the string motif. The instrumentation flows together to glue the whole track into one experience. ‘Qanun Fodder’ builds on two elements; the main sitar riff (what a beautiful instrument) and a very horny (like a horn – e.o.) bass which has a slightly off-beat timing to make it all the more like an enchanting wind instrument. On ‘Are We’, Causa is not afraid to try something different, and his production style is dynamic and ever changing. ‘Are We’ includes spectrum filling wobs, intelligible, slightly robotic sounding vocals, a very wonky sweeping sound in the upper mids and some very, very tight drums that sound like they were recorded in a room made out of cardboard boxes. Enjoyable indeed.

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Volume 2 artwork by Masqoi

The opening to ‘Ginger Root’ is too smeared out to my taste, however what it does do well though is set a contrast to when the bass kicks in. Where the opening is high and crackly, the first drop is stuffed full, maybe even on the obese side of bass. Sleeper is king with his shakers, but these shakers are more crisp than ever. On the dancefloor, I would describe this track as a pusher – a track that will make people close their eyes and bob their heads whilst being lost in thought. A meditational thing. It’s not too heavy or hard per se, but it’s a very fine piece of music. Last but not least, ‘People’ sports a short entrance with cassette crackles, cave acoustics and eerie voices. I don’t know which crowd Opus hangs with, but they must be some intense individuals, if the namesake is any hint to the drive behind this track. The main bass lick is smoothly distorted and seems to ripple from top to bottom. It’s present, but smooth enough to seem fluid. The orchestral intermission is the track’s highlight; emotional, melancholic and powerful enough to fit in with the rest of the track. After the intermission, a hollow cowbell-esque percussion gets the spotlight which makes that track sound more open as a whole. There’s a story to this track, you can definitely hear that.

Volume 2 is released December 14th and available from Unearthed Sounds, Redeye, White Peach, Juno, Intense Records and the Crucial Recordings Store.

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