- I've always thought of Robert Babicz as a man for the clubs. A man to deliver the big tune for the big sound system. Indeed, I had little idea that Babicz had released two LP's on each side of the turn of the millennium, both of which were experimental and far from personal clubbing highlights like "My Blue Car" and "Sin." As such, I came to his newest album with both hope and trepidation. Has my excitement levels remained after immersing myself in Immortal Changes? Only partly so.
Perhaps predictably, I think many people will find the highlights of this album in the club-orientated tracks. The Fever Mix of "Dark Flower" and "Astor" in particular immediately grab you from the first listen. They've got catchy melodies and big bouncy basslines in spades. What's more, there's nothing formulaic about them. "Dark Flower"'s bassline mutates three times throughout its length, with each mutation signaling a rise in energy level and giving extra impetus to its multiple breakdowns. It's a clever arrangement that will tickle the ears when listening at home, but also send a crowd into rapture in the club, something I recently witnessed firsthand.
All of the non-ambient tracks are solid, full of energy and melody. It's when Babicz tones things down that the weaknesses of Immortal Changes emerge. Although it's clearly not the case, it sounds as though Babicz felt almost obliged to include these productions into the album for the sake of diversity. There are some moments of loveliness: Both "Tblisi" and the emotive "Tblisi Reprise" linger in the mind. And "Out of Order" adds a bit of funk to the album, but productions such as "Merak" and "Meet the Blue Elephant" are missing the Babicz spark that radiates elsewhere. There's nothing particularly catchy or clever in these instances. It might be harsh to call these tracks filler, but it's hard not to feel that way when the quality surrounding it is so high.
Nevertheless, these lacklustre moments are overshadowed on Immortal Changes by the surrounding goodness. Consider the album like you would a degustation meal, with Chef Babicz more often than not producing plates that hit the spot.
01. Morning Kiss
03. Darkflower (Fever Mix)
06. Come Closer
07. Meet the Blue Elephant
08. Tbilisi Reprise
10. Mind Looping Technology
11. Out Of Order
12. Thank You For Traveling