Bambounou - Cascade

  • Bambounou kicks off his new label with an EP of lean, cerebral rhythms.
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  • Parisian producer Bambounou introduces his new label, Bambe, with a restrained piece of work that seems to fit within the confines of early-'00s minimal techno. Tracks like "Craig.py" and "Cascade" recall the dizzying analog loops of Detroit minimalism with a little microhouse bounce. Despite its tight rhythmic structures and truncated percussion, I wouldn't say Cascade is strictly skeletal. Synth pads and luscious female vocals breathe life into the complex framework of "Up A While," and the metallic reverb of standout track "Send When You Land" leads us into tense Sandwell District territory. Rather than trying to be dynamic, though, Cascade seems more interested in exploring the ways in which strict parameters can unlock creative inspiration. This release is a slight departure from some of Bambounou's previous work—namely, his excellent Whities 021 EP, which brought to mind Batu more than it did Daniel Bell. Cascade is closer to 033, his October release on AD 93, in its understated approach, cerebral and mesmerizing, qualities he only emphasizes here. This is not one for the maximalists—the emphasis on clicky repetition might challenge expectations. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. After all, Bambounou is known for experimenting and doing the unexpected. With Cascade, and with the birth of Bambe, he's showing us what's possible, even in a more reduced template.