- An EP balanced between intriguing and silly.
- Where were you when Antinote released Iueke's Tapes? OK, that's a little dramatic, but the French label's first release, three monstrous analogue techno jams salvaged from old tapes, did arrive like a kick to the face back in early 2012. Tapes wasn't necessarily a sign of what was to come from Antinote. The label run by Zaltan went on to concern itself more with exotic moods and lower tempos. But Antinote's taste for adventurous productions and oddball aesthetics remained in place. The label now reaches its 50th release with Frogmania, a second appearance for the young Australian artist River Yarra.
Raudie McLeod is a nice match for Antinote. He works across tempos (from 88 BPM up to 140 on this record), sounds indebted to Jon Hassell, Balearic and New Age, and doesn't take things that seriously—just look at that record sleeve. The feeling of McLeod softly taking the piss is what stands the record out but is also what lets it down. "Frogz Ov Gondwana" and "AMFYBYONZZ" reach a good balance between intriguing and silly. There might be a chopped-up vocal sample of someone saying "amphibians" repeatedly in the latter, but it works with the wet synths and chugging 100-BPM drums. "Frogz Ov Gondwana," meanwhile, has a lovely arpeggio running through its gangly groove. The froggy themes are applied to '90s progressive house on "Prog Frog," which probably didn't need its constant background croaking, while "Toad Charmer" is a sleazy and very slow number that didn't need a snake charmer melody as its big reveal.
A1 Toad Charmer
B1 Frogz Ov Gondwana
B2 Prog Frog