21 October 2008

The Detroit Escalator Co. - 1996 - Soundtrack (313)

Quality: 3.75 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 4 out of 5

What we have here is an enjoyable slice of downtempo ambient sounds. Soundtrack (313) is basically a tribute to the wild and wooly hometown of producer Nick Ollivierra. The hook here is that Ollivierra recorded snippets of natural ambient sound and street conversation from within the 313 area code. This is not really taken to any experimental extremes, however, and the real meat here lies in Ollivierra's synth and sequencer sculptures.

With the first two tracks setting the mood nicely, "Force" (number three in the track listing) extends the length to nine minutes to frame it's pulsing light industrial sounds and soaring synthesizer pads. "The Inverted Man" constructs a very groovy lattice of synthesized patterns. The beats are generally pretty sparce and subterranean, although the eight minute closer "Shifting Gear" has a suggestion of jungle beats, which were pretty trendy in 1996.

The most fitting comparison with this disc would probably be with early Aphex Twin. In fact, the sounds here are like a more hi-fi version of Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works 85-92, although Ollivierra doesn't match that album's genius. That's a pretty tall order to match, though, and this album's pleasures are well worth hearing.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...