Marcelus - Vibrations

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  • Marcelus is a great producer. We learnt that from his excellent 2010 debut. He's also an ideas man and subversive sound designer—just listen to tracks like "Warhead," from his Repitch split with Markus Suckut, or "Sulfuric," from his second Deeply Rooted EP. When the Parisian joined Tresor in 2012, it was with Super Strength. His aptly titled EP showed he could take on the historic label, being as sympathetic to its past as he was modern. His follow-up, Emerald, explored a different side—the deeper, dreamier sound called upon Juan Atkins' Infiniti alias, where Super Strength found inspiration in Jeff Mills. Shine, Marcelus's third Tresor record, took another turn, teaming two streamlined techno cuts with the beatless "Astral" and the wonderfully outlandish "Shine." As expected, Marcelus's debut album for Tresor, Vibrations, is expertly executed. On a macro level, it sounds methodical, complete and highly polished. Digging deeper uncovers zings, pings and textures with subtle intonations, as heard on opener "Initial Sense," "Same Where, Different When" and the quivering title cut. Those tracks are among a small handful of peaks in the recursive, molecular landscape that Vibrations otherwise inhabits. After two spooling efforts, "Steel Drums" courts a peak-time moment with mathematical precision. It's an algorithmic work, as are the likes of "Funky Datas" and "Jungle Electroniquem" and their cool expressions of pure functionality can become a bit tedious after extended plays. Over ten minutes long, "Multiply" could have easily fallen prey to this, too, but its groove is more inviting than the rest. It's a loop you can become lost in. But overall Vibrations can't shake this calculated feeling. As its title suggests, "Meta Jam" is a self-involved, self-referential work of engineering. It's about processes and patterns that have tiny, barely detectable inflections—all rewarding on a technical level but lacking the soul of older Marcelus tracks like "Shine." And that issue is emblematic of Vibrations. There are glimmers of life in the album's atmospheric moments, such as closer "Fear Is Gone," but Vibrations mostly favors cold precision.
  • Tracklist
      01. Initial Sense 02. Foreplay 03. Steel Drums 04. Transient 05. Multiply 06. Funky Datas 07. Vibrations 08. Meta Jam 09. Same Where, Different When 10. Jungle Electronique 11. Fear Is Gone