Freight Elevator Quartet
The word “downtempo” has become quite an expansive term during the last few years. Everyone from Massive Attack to Kruder & Dorfmeister has been thrown into the melting pot. Although such a categorization is quite vague, it is a very accessible one to describe the noises emanated by the Freight Elevator Quartet. Shot into prominence with the release of DJ Spooky vs. the Freight Elevator Quartet last year, the group seems to have matured and shoved a few tricks up their sleeves. From the haunting cellos that swarm the opening IDM number, “Transparent,” and later tracks, Becoming Transparent is a transcendental voyage through the inner sanctums of our minds. The electro/drum n’ bass combo of the properly named “Downtime is Becoming Less of an Option” sends lightning through the body while allowing that mellow beauty to lurk underneath the madness.
Stylistically diverse and multi-textured, Transparent is a record that should please those who welcome a little experimentation in their lives. Constantly changing their pitch up, the enigmatic creatures behind the Quartet sink into droning dub and swell again on uptempo beats of “Exasperation,” which the listener just might feel after sorting through the whole record. One of the most notable listens of the year and one that slashes the downtempo label to mince meat, Becoming Transparent should remain in my CD player for quite a while — until I figure exactly what the hell monster these people have created.
Caipirinha Productions, 510 La Guardia Pl., Suite 5, New York, NY 10012; http://www.caipirinha.com