Pulse. It’s all about the pulse. It’s the relentless thump of your heart and the creamy blood textures. Quondam Current seeps under your skin and infects you with the headnod/breakin’-it-down virus. Jake Mandell has created a new Ebola, and uses this CD as a vehicle for transmitting it to everyone in sight. I feel privileged to have had my body melted down by Mr. Mandell.
Jake Mandell has a degree in biochemistry and with it an intimate knowledge of microstructures. He applies these structures to this album, and makes these minimal structures glow. Unlike his Cologne counterparts, Mandrels music feels alive and organic. The beats grow and flower among the drizzle of synthesized melody. They intertwine with crisp effects, while stereo effects careen off of the non-existent boundaries. At least one listen on headphones is mandatory, so one can see the extraordinary detail put into every single track.
You can see traces of Pole-esque nu-dub in these 13 tracks. Bits of the clicking rhythms and deep bass occurring on albums on the ‘scape label appear on “Circumscribed.” The clarity of vision on this album is epitomized in “Enchanted Philter.” Mandell introduces a pulse, and slowly introduces various elements until we find ourselves riding a solid monster of a track. Out of nowhere flies this breakbeat. It stays long enough to throw us off guard, but retreats while the throbbing bass pulse reappears. The melody reoccurs later on in the album, albeit in heavily twisted form.
On the minimal tip of this branch of electronic music, Jake Mandell stands tall and proud.
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