- In the three years since his debut single on Cadenza, Frankfurt's Frank Heinrich has established himself as the designer of some of Latin-oriented house music's most microscopically constructed rhythms and shape-shifting sonics. His productions meld the organic conga beats that so dominated late-hour house music a couple of years ago with mesmerizing and intricate sounds and timbres, turning his steady, often tribal beats into strange clamors of sound. Fitting then that Heinrich—AKA Reboot—has since spread tracks across some of dance music's headiest heavies, including Cocoon, Ricardo Villalobos' Sei Es Drum and Motivbank.
For his debut LP though, Reboot returns to the imprint with which he began, Luciano's Cadenza, under fire in certain circles the last few years for failing to evolve beyond the high-end "bongo house" the label was so instrumental in popularizing and for their inability to make the leap to the dreaded dance full-length. The result, Shunyata—a Buddhist term which means, roughly, both "emptiness" and "impermanence"—is sure to remind people of just what made the label so intrinsic in bringing those global beats and textures to prominence in the first place. Simply stated, Shunyata is most certainly "a Cadenza record," marked by the blending of eerie synth lines, hazy melodies and hypnotic noise-play into open ended rhythms pounded from cymbals, shakers, woodblocks, congas, bells and drum machines.
But, as with many of the label's best releases, it's the break-in-the-cloud moments—those transitions into sudden melodic lines sewn deep within their beat patterns as on "Save Me," "Hermano" or "Shunyata"—that necessitate repeated visits. Much of this immediacy is, at first, masked by Reboot's meticulous sonic layering; Shunyata sounds almost rubbery at times, with its shifting pitches, electronic pings, zings and creaking noises bent into elastic shapes and passages that you ride more than you listen in on. As such, it's the consummate headphone lover's record, slow to reveal many of its embellishments. Both "Me Show" and highlight "Save Me" are particularly dense, almost grainy epics that begin as steady organic jams only to retreat into themselves completely; the melody that emerges from the latter sounds like a circus organ half-buried in sand, muffled and sad at one moment, foregrounded the next.
Stranded somewhere between Detroit house and salsa shuffle, "Hermano" is delirious fun too. A jumpy floor-filler, its organ, dizzy vocal samples and a distant piano accelerate into a sweaty grind that almost seems to topple headfirst. Elsewhere, with its watery bassline and quiet pinging sounds, "Dreilach" shades its distorted melody in quiet electronic murk. In fact, it's that very sense of sub-surface focus on Shunyata—the feeling that so much is snaking in play beneath the top—that makes the record such a grower, both for home listening purposes and the late-night hours.
02. Me Show
03. We Only Just
05. Save Me
08. Down Pantha
10. Sanchez Says