An enjoyable collection of synthetic sonics and treated beats
Colin Buttimer 2009-08-14
Echaskech's second album sees the London-based duo explore a world shaped by The Future Sound of London's Lifeforms. Shatterproof is an enjoyable collection of synthetic sonics and treated beats which articulate a technologised future without quite managing to push the boundaries further than the already familiar.
The album's title track begins with rustling and eerie tones that wheel in low-key, cosmic movement as the sound gradually coalesces into harsh, slow-motion beats. Shatterproof echoes Warp's seminal home-listening fare, learning bass lessons from dubstep and its paranoia from two-step jungle.
On Your Mind tempers a bright and shiny soundscape with barbed percussion and measured use of vocal samples. Lead single Future Sex is a stripped-down vehicle propelled by a treated vocal that expounds on the impact of near-future technologies, at one point declaring: ''YouTube killed the video star''.
Low Pressure recalls B12's Time Tourist with its warm Detroit-influenced flow, and is succeeded by the mournful minimalism of Deserted. The Calm's vocoder-like speech and swirling synths might initially appear to slip seamlessly onto the Blade Runner soundtrack, but the harsh, laser-etched beats that kick in halfway mark it as more recent fare. Album closer Redeploy's chopped vocals and hesitant beats, meanwhile, have Boards of Canada writ large across them.
Shatterproof presents an enjoyable blend of tempos, from urgent to near ambient. Its themes of the virtual near-future and the post-human world remain relevant, but Echaskech's music feels oddly old-school for such a focus.