Paul Blackford - Anthology Volume Two

Six months after Volume One, Atlanta based Body Control Records presents the second chapter in a series of four releases of the massive Paul Blackford Anthology. No need to introduce this versatile talent from U.K. anymore, author of a dense and colorful sound, melting advanced electronics with solid 90's influences (please refer to my previous review if you want to know more about him). The present compilation includes 16 kickin' tracks, fusing warm machine tones to crisp bass notes.


Innovative "Reflections" opens the CD with a mind blending dystopia where the London based artist displays bubbling touches over moody synth lines.


A fast and future funk driven piece of music, breakbeat "3 Mile Island" delivers a mystical analogue cut destined to make you move like a robot, as well as experiment authentic emotions thanks to its great atmosphere.


Sci-Fi "Destroy The Mothership" appears as a combination of the producer’s famous trademark: frantic rhythm propelled by groovy beats with lots of catchy layers interspersed between the kick and the snare. Top notch!


Things start to calm down with the blissful Electro soul of "Hydrothermal Vent" before getting straight back into the action in a LFO style with "The Virus".


Featuring naughty, haunting and spacious synth sequences, dark "Voidfield" sounds like an unpredictable ambient beast that slowly but surely casts you under its spell.


Beautiful "Event Horizon" showcases a suspensory tribute to syncopated music with its metallic drums, organic modulations and great melodies cleaning your mind, then "Electro Transmat" demonstrates how inventive Paul can be as a drum programmer.


With its crystal clear synth lines and droid title that could have been taken from a Star Wars spinoff, "MCP2" reminds us why Paul is considered as the pioneer of the Detroit Techno Bass genre mixed with UK Hardcore Rave style. Coming Next, a much more stripped out jam but with raw beats and old school stabs, relentless "Recoil" signs the fine fusion of sweet melodies and brutal percussions.


The journey continues through the Electro prism of "The Groove" made of sharp drums, dehumanized vocals and a harsh kick, while hot "Bass By Dope Demand" returns to a more Breakbeat approach.


Published in 2010, downtempo "Amiga 500" and its atmosphere a la "Streets Of Rage" sees a 2016 treatment, as well as emotive "Sarsparilla", whereas "The Dark Times", exclusive to the CD, appears in its original version of 1998.


Deep and atmospheric "Horizons" concludes the CD (limited to 100 copies) with a lazy yet nostalgic note, making you wish there was a way to prolong this electronic travel for an unlimited time.


While the preceding compilation fathomed the more unacademic and dancefloor aspects of Paul Blackford's sound, eclectic "Volume Two" shines away from using upfront rhythms throughout and focuses on a more melodic approach. Every single one has a strong potential for the dance floor, yet the album works perfectly for home listening pleasure.


Ranging from Ambient to Breakbeat, passing through the Electro sub-genres, the compilation unleashed moments of pure electronic bravoure! Must have.





Reviewed by: Chris Nexus 6

December 2016