- Kalachakra proves to this reviewer that sub-genres are about as useless as a gigolo in a convent. When Stroboscopic Artefacts boss Lucy recently cited the label's music as something called "compressed dub" in RA's recent feature on the label, I thought he meant a digitised version of Basic Channel / Chain Reaction, or a continuation of the throbbing bassy techno that Brommage Dub started in the late '90s.
The reality is somewhat different: rather than sounding like an update of these sounds, "Kalachakra" is decidedly understated, its admittedly smart arrangement progressing from a muffled bassline into reflective chords. The other "Version"—brownie points for a smart reference to original dub remixes—tells a similar story, with the musical elements introduced earlier. The end result is that "Kalachakra" sounds polite when it should be majestic.
Thankfully, DVS1 does not opt for such a softly-softly approach; his "Eyes Closed" remake centres on menacing filters sweeping across the original like storm clouds, underpinned by clipped beats and tight, insistent percussion. The US producer's second remix is less full-on and sees him focus his efforts on making Lucy's chords more melodic—albeit in a hypnotic way—but the underlying beats have a steely resolve and the percussion cuts like cheese wire. If "compressed dub" equates with an inoffensive interpretation of classic dub techno, then I'd rather immerse myself in the often menacing tones of SA's Monad series.
A2 Kalachakra (Version)
B1 Kalachakra (DVS1 Eyes Closed Remix)
B2 Kalachakra (DVS1 Eyes Open Remix)