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  • Filed under: Review
  • 10/09/2013

Bass Clef Stenaline Metranil Solar Flare

Stenaline Metranil Solar Flare, Ralph Cumbers' latest EP as Bass Clef, is centered around an intricate, sci-fi-themed, modular house trip from last year's Reeling Skullways LP that also happens to rank as some of his finest work to date. The track's original version presents a sparkling tapestry of arpeggios and celestial synth vox, which are underscored by stepping kicks and resonant bass toms. It's a quiet moment compared to other, more rousing LP efforts, but its detail is the kind that rewards repeat listens. The remixes here are as solid as one would hope, given the original's fertility—each finds an element in Cumbers' dense arrangement to accentuate.

Cumbers' Bass Clef rendition reminds of the Night Slugs crew in its staggered, grime-esque arrangement, as the producer melds distorted kicks and a wobbly lead line with the sound of shattering glass. The track's rough, cantankerous quality is worlds away from the original's sense of wonderment. Peverelist's remix is not as labyrinthine as some of his other material. The Bristol producer is well known for producing tracks that subtly unfold themselves, but his contribution here is pretty straightforward, textured as it is. He retains the original's stepping aspect and bright repetitions, adding a smudgy, vaguely old-school-dancehall bassline for good measure. Finally, Cumbers dons his Coseph Jonrad alias for a take that emphasizes splintering arpeggios on the fritz, fragmenting the vista implied by its choral "ahhs." Much like Cumbers' songs on Reeling Skullways, these tracks feel absolutely alive, and anything but gridlocked.

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