If you are into classy, yet forward thinking Techno music, then this new and exciting vinyl release by "CANVAX" (Body Control Records), titled "Cosmophilia", and available as a 9 track double LP will surely please your senses.
Starting things off on this record is "Spiraling", a menacing 4x4 Techno Jam, soulful in its foundation, yet chaotic and fierce above the clouds where this song pushes the boundaries with high frequency oscillations that heat up the atmosphere. Coming next, we find "Lost Comms", where we delve into the Electro Breaks side of things, this one fast and gritty with nice punch but not what I would call a Techno Bass track per se, at least not by common definition; which is a great thing. I am starting to get the feeling already this guy likes it raw and dirty in his productions, and this one is a fine example of that. Darkness surrounds this track, beware!
Moving right along, "Rebooting" is a soulful, Detroit-inspired Techno jam, back on the 4x4 gallops, but surprising and having me eat my words so soon in that this is far from gritty! This is up there with some of the better Techno compositions I have heard, warming things up with delightful pads that seem to carry on forever. Great stuff!
Back to the hard and dirty stuff with this one, titled "Power Grid", we hit the ground running as we race around the speedway with this fascinating jam that sounds like the core of a planet becoming destabilized. It's been a while since I have heard so many cool squelches, and sawtooth type of sounds that sound so alive and just purely destructive. This one is razor sharp folks, handle with gloves if you can! It's mean, and not for the faint of heart.
Next up, "High Alert" bathes in an analog bubblebath of warm bending tones, subtle melodies that stab with a bit of mischeviousness, as the rhythms take control. This one reminds me of many of the great Techno classics from the 90's: adventurous, but sticking to the roots with clean melodic elements. Very nice!
As we begin heading downhill to the closing of the record, we find "Transmitting", which is a bit like the last, a good balance of harsh bass tones, with warm sumptuous pads that decorate this one like a warm blanket on a winter's night. The thing that stands out to me on this one, is the almost out of sync drum elements that still hit just right, and add elegance and a bit of an abstract vibe to it that I really like. Not necessarily tribal, just cold and adding depth of field to the overall sound.
Now for my favorite, "Break Off" stays true to its name as it truly does its own thing separate from the rest of its counterparts. This one still carries that Electro/Techno rhythm that most of these have in some form, but analog warmth comes frothing from the top, as the thick bassline drives forward only to be met by brilliant stabs and quirky machine-like twitches that sound like the pistons of a finely tuned Electro song. A+!
"Stasis" gets back to the high frequency menace, introducing this really neat array of melodies. Probably the best set of pads I have heard so far on the record I think, deep, dark, and melancholic, but walking side by side with a very interesting composition, made of stabs based on metallic textures that bend out of tune just right to let the melody have its own unique and weird character. Great job!
Last but not least, "Static" finishes the LP with a cool twist, introducing the only downtempo song on the album, bringing together all the elements witnessed so far, that with CANVAX's style of gritty, acidy sounding music, turns this one into something that even hints at Dub-Step a little. But don't worry, this isn't another attempt to copy and re-copy a sub-genre, this one is very unique, squelchy, vibrant, soulful, and the perfect ending to this unique and very well made record.
If you love hard-edged, but emotive, creative, and acidic Electronic Music, you will love this 2xLP from beginning to end. It encompasses many great styles in a very forward-thinking way that is adventurous to listen to. Available now through Juno Records, or wherever you buy music! Don't forget to also check out some of CANVAX's other releases, like his most recent "Lift Off", on Tropical Underground. Support!
Reviewed By: Santino Fernandez