Octopus Inc./Kettel

Octopus Inc.

Fluid Freedom

Kettel

Dreim

Kracfive

Kracfive hits again! Chris Graves of Colongib and Kracfive ownership fame brings us some of the old melodic IDM, to me so beloved.

Fluid Freedom is Noah Howard’s second release under the Octopus Inc. name. He’s worked previously as Pacman, a project I have heard little of. Octopus Inc. shows a slow and subdued side of Kracfive that would be hard to guess from listening to any of the Penguin Mechanics compilations. Howard combines acoustic and electronic instrumentation to make this journey very mellow, and very sweet. The pace remains slow, as if the release of Fluid Freedom indicated a slowdown from summer laziness to fall prep-for-hibernation. Howard occasionally slips in hip-hop loops, but the whole picture is more downtempo reminiscent. The record isn’t amazingly innovative, but it’s certainly a nice venture into slow rhythms and summer afternoon pleasantness. Fluid Freedom is for fans of the Leaf label, and those who like the nu-jazz atmosphere without the fusion posturing.

This Kettel CD, on the other hand, is a more lively pot o’ fish. If you’re feeling a little lethargic from the Octopus Inc. CD, Kettel’s got the stew for you. Reimer Eisling is tapped into the same pools as Plaid and many of the Emanate Records roster. Jittery rhythms slip and slide over melodies that’d bring a smile to your grandma’s face. Eisling has a penchant for the bouncy and doesn’t hesitate to strip things down for maximum funk effectiveness (“Top Space”). If I had a nickel for every solemn visage Dreim has cracked, I’d be a rich man.

Kracfive, http://www.kracfive.com

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