Sunday, October 4, 2009

mathias kaden - studio 10 (2009, vakant cd04)

earlier this summer, i went on my first trip to europe, visiting barcelona, ibiza, and amsterdam over the course of 2 weeks. of course, one goal for my trip was to get a good taste of the european dance music culture.

my personal 'white whale' was mathias kaden. turns out he's produced a bunch of tracks for vakant, and after discovering his work earlier this year, i missed out on a number of chances to see him perform in barcelona (including a vakant label party) due to other parties or exhaustion. luckily, i got to see him at awakenings festival in amsterdam, where he played to an adoring sweaty crowd dancing in a cozy white tent.

i love mathias's tracks, which are usually focused on rolling, acoustic percussion and have a really tribal feel to them. but none of it was ever really 'deep'... until the recent release of this, his debut LP, studio 10. i had wondered how his style--mostly displayed through 8-minute tracks--would work in an album-based (ie longer) aesthetic, and i must say i've been pleasantly surprised after a few listens. mathias injects this entire album with depth and soul, helped out in part by a number of lyricists. i think my favorite track is 'panic stricken,' with some smooth male vocals and jazzy call-and-response sax riffs. elsewhere, foreign female vocals speak over decaying, dubbed out beats on 'kawaba.' the album ends on a classy old-school note with '1981,' but i really prefer the penultimate 're menor,' with its mournful violin and exotic melodies.

all in all, this is a solid debut album for mathias kaden.

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