- There's a delicate balance in what Nick Curly and many of his Mannheim cohorts do. In constructing music that is so relentlessly track-y, it's impossible not to sometimes fall over into the abyss of colorless techno. What works on the floor sometimes has no relation to what works at home. That said, there's something disconcerting about the lack of ambition that can be heard in Series 1.3.
Both "Bulgaria" and "ak()n" occupy the middle of the road so well, they threaten to block anyone else from passing. When a label like Cécille releases something like "Bulgaria," it indicates that a bassline that sounds ripped straight from a sample CD and a boom-tchk beat is good enough. It's not. "ak()n" is a little better, with a hint of a groove to it, and a sunny organ that breaks the track down in the most unassuming way possible. But even a few snare stutters have little to offer in the way of interest.
Series 1.3 is a rare misstep from Curly and production partner Sebastian Flach, who previously worked with Curly on "Critical Mass" and "Kalimba." Too tracky for its own good, this one should only be used on the floor—and only when you want something with as little personality as possible.