Music Reviews

Gomma Audio No. 1

Music from the Gomma Label

Shadow

Some really big names are really digging what Germany’s Gomma label is doing. Gilles Peterson, Jazzanova, Kruder & Dorfmeister, and Les Rhythmes Digitales have raised their swords among the legion of the label’s fans. In what can be considered a mixed blessing, Shadow has released some of Gomma’s 1999-2001 tracks.

Gomma Audio No. 1 is most definitely an aural, dance adventure. This is music that isn’t afraid to take risks, and the label distinguishes itself admirably for refusing the cliché. In the cluttered minefield of electronica’s myriad genres, the music on this disc oftentimes defies categorization. However, in that stew of creativity, sometimes one comes up with gristle. Sometimes the synth effects are too ’80s, like in Headman’s “It’s Rough,” or too overbearing, which almost ruins the deep house groove of Leroy Hanghofer’s “Pin.” And Ike Yard’s “N.C.R.” is so choppy, you’d think the track had been ravaged by a Benihana chef.

The rest, however, is a spicy jambalaya of fine, edgy music that makes one realize why such big names as those previously mentioned are into Gomma. Munk has two great tracks on here; Ike Steigner’s “Bela Breaks” is a heartbeat away from cardiac arrest; and Spenzer’s “The Box” closes out this session with some menacing downtempo that leaves you wanting more.

Gomma Records: http://www.gomma.de • Shadow Records: http://www.shadowrecords.com


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