The name Sbles3plex remains associated to three essential outings published between 2001 and 2003, on Holland’s infamous Techno Acid imprint Djax Up Beats.
David Farell and ultra prolific Ivan Arnau aka Dark Vektor (Drivecom, Dona-li, Titan's Halo Recordings), authors of these highly acclaimed Electro releases, unfortunately split shortly after. Although Ivan pursued the adventure solo under the enigmatic Sbles3plex name in 2005, offering to F.B.I. Recordings its 2nd vinyl output (“The Grid E.P.”), the Catalonian duo in its original form kept silent until 2017.
14 years after the collectible "Pornobotics EP", the former members re-unite and return more powerful than ever with a complete debut full length album, and it seems like time had no influence on their energy and talent. Successful "Máquinas Deseantes" contains no less than ten twisted and mind-blowing Electro classics, craftily produced, and evolving away from the band's original sound a bit. From the futuristic atmosphere of "Volem Plastics" to the madness of "Step Back", passing through the nostalgia of "Alternative 2", Sbles3plex dives us into a no-return journey through their visionary and synthetic universe.
Downtempo "Tot Es Ireal" opens the album with a dark, soulful and emotive string a la' Rother reminding me of "Human Made" on the "Sex With The Machines" opus. Robotic beats and droid voices complete this vibrating introduction.
"Máquinas Deseantes", the title track, serves up brilliant, discordant, and glitchy aesthetic music built upon a solid Electro rhythm. Some funky notes very characteristic of Dark Vektor's style lay in the background, while vocals in the Spanish language give the whole song its own unique groove. Tuneeeee in my opinion!
Combination of bubbling modulations and vintage synth lines, Detroitish "Volem Plastics" evolves into Dopplereffekt's early dystopian vision, whereas deep "Mathematic Universe" delivers a tense syncopated slaughter based upon emotional arpeggios and heading drums. Indeed, Sbles3plex's music has become more assured over the years, but has gained in depth and maturity!
Cosmic "Step Back" instantly following ventures into some unexplored 4/4 landscapes to offer a surprising and intelligent voyage through Space. I would have rather called the track "Step Forward", because of its very advanced vibes.
Warm "Diamagnetic" and "Pmm Pss tah" offer two enjoyable pieces of futuristic funk tinted with retro touches. The album becomes more and more dancefloor in proportion as we progress in the listening! Nevertheless, downtempo "Alternative 2" coming next marks a pause in this progression, chasing in the lands of Kraftwerk or Franck Kartell’s style with its samples of "Trans-Europe Express".
With its C64 and retro games sororities, “Al Limite Del Abismo” immerses the listener into an Italo-Disco anthem, a track that could appear in an I-F mix.
Last but not least “Pantallas Azules” goes back to the roots with a Detroitish and vocoded dancefloor killer that will put everyone in agreement. Sbles3plex's music sounds fresh as Day One!
The opus comes fully complete with a selection of refined remixes from some of the best representatives of the Techno/Electro genres worldwide. List of artists featured on the double CD give goosebumps and a little vertigo: Dynamik Bass System, dynArec, Umwelt, Stroud, AE35, Andrew Red Hand, Computron, g13ck, Ascension Électronique, and Inhuman Designed!
Prepare for fierce sonic assaults, ingenious reworks, and unexpected contributions (still thinking about DBS with its surprising 4/4 cover of "Pmm Pss tah"!).
Mash up of a myriad of genres, intelligently constructed, the double CD, 20 songs in total, illustrated by yours truly, celebrates in large pumps the great and hopefully definitive return of Sbles3plex. Watch this space for more information as a sample vinyl might see the daylight soon, and featuring some of the best songs and remixes on the album!
Reviewed by: Chris Nexus 6