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 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Hybrid
Soundsystem 01
Nettwerk

Rating: 5/10 ?


August 27, 2008
When artists start throwing the word cinematic around to describe their own music, the term is usually a harbinger of sub-par music that invariably suffers from lack of beats, hooks, and/or melodies. Every now and then, however, a nice exception to the rule appears on the scene, the Canadian duo Esliane being one of the most recent examples. DJ's Mike Truman and Chris Healings, performing under the name Hybrid, are another exception.

Although Truman and Healings are capable of splicing beats on their own, when creating music and performing as a duo the pair operate as Hybrid. Soundsystem 01, their latest collaborative release, is a double album, with one CD devoted to a more ambient and, yes, "cinematic" soundscape, and a second disc with a decidedly more upbeat direction.

Soundsystem 01's first disc is without question the more interesting of the two, and includes contributions by club scene heavy hitters such as Ryuichi Sakamoto, DJ Spooky, and David Sylvain. The disc mixes downtempo, glitchy, and atmospheric tracks with actual film scores, and in the resulting structures it becomes quite apparent that the two spheres can and do eloquently overlap. At its heart the nature of a film score is similar to that of an ambient downtempo track; they're both created to convey feelings with the aim to be as emotional as possible, eliciting a listener response in the direction of whatever the particular emotion or feeling might be. Truman and Healings seem to understand the intersection of the genres and make the most of it.

Disc two is a collection of more traditional up-tempo, dance-oriented club cuts. With dance music enjoying its largest swell of popularity since disco it takes a concerted effort to create tracks that distinguish themselves from the din, and here Hybrid stumble. Soundsystem 01's second disc is fairly boring, to be honest, as we've heard most of it before in one form or another. Hybrid are not bringing anything new to the table, and as a result Soundsystem 01 plays like what should have been a single-disc release, with the filler of the second relegated to free downloads.

On the strength of collections like Soundsystem 01's first disc, acts like Hybrid might just succeed in making "cinematic" an appropriate term in electronic music. "Filler," on the other hand, will always be a very, very bad word, especially when an entire disc of it drags down what would otherwise be a highly-rated album.

Reviewed by Daniel Svanberg
A contributing writer for LAS, Daniel Svanberg now lives in Boston, far far away from Sweden, where he once lived, although the weather is the same.

See other reviews by Daniel Svanberg

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