Overmono - Arla II

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  • Truss and Tessela, two brothers who make different kinds of techno, share a love of the UK's rave and hardcore history. The duo's Overmono project homes in on that history, and when the two collaborate they make music that's more flamboyant and colourful than their solo productions. The pair's first record as Overmono showed flashes of brilliance through fragmented songs and left turns. Its sequel presents full tracks that throw caution to the wind while embracing the duo's nostalgic tendencies. Since the last Arla record, Overmono dropped a mini-mix called Water The Planets. There, a distinctive sound—vintage drums and frilly melodies—began to crystallize. The mix ended with "Powder Dry," which also closes Arla II. It's Overmono's best track, where a hands-in-the-air melody halfway between hardstyle and trance billows past bounding drums. "Powder Dry" highlights the duo's strength—they're not just making hardcore pastiche, but drawing upon a lifetime of musical experience. Their music sounds idiosyncratic, even when it's touching on something universal. The rest of the record is stranger. "O-Coast" walks the line between rave and happy hardcore with cutesy vocal samples. "Telephax 030," a zany breaks track equal parts playful and heavy, shakes things up even more. The childlike vocals on "16 Steps" might be off-putting, but the track's tribal techno beats are irresistible, especially once the kick drum gets reinforced halfway through. There are two short interludes—including the floaty drone of "Concorde"—that show off other ideas. They feel like palate cleansers for the more fleshed-out songs. Rather than a quirky side project, Overmono sounds like a full endeavour with a bright future.
  • Tracklist
      A1 O-Coast A2 Telephax 030 A3 HR3 B1 16 Steps B2 Concorde B3 Powder Dry