Saturday, December 6, 2014

A comments-box commenter reminded me of the Two On One series that Moving Shadow did, starting in early 1994 -  an artist - either from the Shadow roster or an admired ally / peer -  given  one side of a 12 inch on which to explore their more "experimental" tendencies....

Very excited by this idea I was, but the results were generally underwhelming .... less intense than each artist's usual offerings, and in truth often less mindbendingly strange than the more slamming crowd-pleasing things Moving Shadow were doing at that time, such as Dead Dred's "Dred Bass"

The Goldie tune (Two On One Issue 1) was good, but no "Angel"

This is how I reviewed it at the time in Melody Maker:

"You could call it 'ambient hardcore', you could call it 'cyber-jazz'--either way,
"Fury"'s demonic timewarped bass, soul-diva-in-agony samples, orchestral synths
and jazzy tangents all add up to one hell of a phuture shocker."

This 2 Bad Mice effort was probably the best of the lot.... metallic stepper with sinister-slinky glow-bass

The MM review:  "a complex mesh of shifting snares and treated percussion"

The Foul Play was a middling sort of effort - although a Herbie Hancock "Watermelon" rip is always nice

The Omni Trio is lovely but it's just an alternate mix or a preview (can't remember which) of a track on the Vol. 4 EP, so hardly much of a stretching-himself step into the avant-zone for Mr Haigh. Bit of a fob-off, really.

The Deep Blue is decent, but more like a messy pageant of tasty drum sounds -- an unnecessary complication of what works so sublimely on "The Helicopter Tune"

The rest, though - mostly an early indication that the drift towards musicality and smoothed-out ambient textures was going to be a mixed blessing

(In MM I was still trying to maintain my enthusiasm for the series: the mini-review for that one goes "Tango's "Think Twice" is a dancefloor desolator, all demonic bass-surges and hideously clammy samples. Isolationist jungle? Sounds like a good idea to me."

Really beginning to lose interest by this point: "JMJ & Richie's "Deep Bass 9" is a pleasant enough confection of vocoderized ragga, blissed diva and two-step shuffle. But it's Size & Krust's "Witchcraft"--a dreamswirl of s(h)immering percussion, spangly wah-wah and hall-of-mirrors vocals-- that really substantiates the experimental intentions of the '2 On 1' series."

Now I guarantee you I never played that one ever again - but listening today, it's okay: "Music Box" + creepy sound-wraithes.

sadly not sampling the Renaissance tune... nice enough little groover though

ah the tell-tale pitter of the hand-percussion, and then the sickly synth-washes

it's the synths that spoil most of these tunes - uninteresting chords, pallid textures

See this one is quite exciting rhythmically - like frenzy inside a fog, with that susurrated spray of beat-particles...

... but then the World's Least Compelling Keyboard Chords keep interrupting the proceedings

1 comment:

droid said...

A touch harsh I think. The Hyper on e is exceptional. And there's some definite A+ stuff on there, if not A+++