lomechanik – ondergrond [download]
“Ondergrond” is yet another great NYP (name your price) compilation, this time from the Dutch label Lomechanik. This one’s strictly filled with crisp newstyled beats. I hear you saying “Lomechwhut?”, but these guys have been putting out releases on the net, vinyl and CD since the early 2000′s. Which makes it extra nice that you can cop this one for whatever you feel like.
Ok so saying it’s newstyled beats doesn’t really cut it. This is a collection of mostly hardcore 85-95 bpm synth bangers. Sweeping leads, distorted pads, punchy kickdrums, rattling hi-hats and fx percussion are key throughout every song. One thing that makes this compilation stand out for me is the extreme quality of the tracks: there’s some real sweet sound design going on throughout the tracklisting.
Nowadays I’m really at a loss when it comes to subgenres, it seems a new subgenre with a new name is being coined on a daily basis. And although I don’t like to run comparisons with more established artists, I’ll deviate from that for this compilation on a couple of tracks, if only because I want to use every possibility to make you cop this awesome collection (and because I have no idea which track should be associated with what subgenre =).
As all good compilation releases you can divide this one into 2 types of tracks: The harsh bangers and the more moody soundscapes. Know V.A.‘s “Ice Skating” and Raadsel‘s “After Hamburg” are both synthy bass-killers, the first being more on the joyous side and the second really harsh. Frenquency joins them on a more bass/juke tip with “Tomorrow In The Streets Of Yesterday” and Terugklap puts the icing on the cake with his Amon Tobin’esque “De Dag”.
Julien Mier‘s remix of Marsman‘s “Get Off The Train” definitely falls in the atmospheric category, together with Julian Edwardes‘ “Autumn Bleeds” (which has a nice shortstopped sawtooth synth that reminds of a track on C-Mon & Kypski’s Vinyl Voodoo album, sweet!) and “Leave Again” by Kijk Een Ster.
Of course there are also tracks that fit the release but stand out a bit style-wise: Fedbymachines‘ “Abandon” has the melancholy and broken 2step beats that one would attribute to Burial, and Urkelle lays down about 5 minutes of sub-heavy ambientness on “Leg Bound”.
The last thing I’ll say about “Ondergrond” is that it’s a breath of fresh air listening to tracks that push the boundaries of electric beats, without ending up in the quicksand of being too un-quantized that it’s practically unlistenable. Although I appreciate that stuff too, sometimes it’s just nice to listen to freaky stuff that doesn’t take up your whole brain to comprehend every second of it.