Fenetik Records, the softer side of Scottish techno giants Soma, release their first...
Jack Smith 2003
The Fenetik label - a subsidiary of the mighty techno label Soma - has stealthily worked its way into the public consciousness over the last couple of years via a string of competent releases from artists like John Tejada, Sidewinder and Daniel Ibbotson.
Sidewinder, aka Alan Bryden - a Reading-born Glasgow resident who happens to be highly adept at playing classical cello - is perhaps the best known entity on the imprint.
The bulk of his output to date has been alluringly melodic and generally captivating with expansive groove-outs such as Stanway's Revenge (featured both here and on Groove Armada's Back To Mine compilation) shining brightly enough to mark him out above his peers.
Resolution is his debut LP and was pieced together over two years. A suavely sashaying procession of string-led genre-busting songs, it is entirely in keeping with his previous output.
His influences - Detroit techno, 70s fusion, broken beat, jazz, deep funk, visionary soul - are to be heard throughout: "Morph's Groove" places a Ronny Jordan-style guitar lick over some swirling Herbie Hancock phuture-synth. The strutting "Ego Riot" brings his love of disco into play, while "Open Source" is a syncopated sunrise of a track, peppered with plenty of rhythmic percussion, well-spanked bass and coruscating flutes.
Much of the album is relaxed enough to encourage horizontal listening. Bryden likes nothing more than to drape his funky beats with delicately interwoven melodies - but therein lies the problem. Though pleasantly effective for the most part (and nicely buoyed by some more urgent moments), there is a growing feeling as the album unfolds that it could have done with a little more oomph.
It's far from wallpaper music, however, and for a first LP is accomplished and highly listenable. It certainly bodes well for Brydens future lets just hope he beefs up the beats for next time.