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Sustainer Cuantico

Infusing electronic music with an artistic aesthetic is certainly a more cultured production approach-but it doesn't guarantee great music. A nod to what his label calls new "Spanish Modernism," Barcelona's Alex "Sustainer" Alarcon models his stark tech-house after the same Basic Channel-styled grooves so recognizably purveyed by his German distributor, Kompakt. Yet while Alarcon's ambition is clear, Cuantico bears telltale signs of a novice producer. The keen rhythmic drive that distinguishes most Kompakt artists is lacking here, and frustratingly, Alarcon's progressions are so subtle that his promising pieces sound flatly monotonous. Artistically speaking, more a collection of beat studies than a finished collection.

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