- Joel Mull is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get. Excuse the terribly hackneyed cliche, but it's true: the Swedish producer has a vast discography of vastly different releases, a grab-bag approach typified by his diverse The Observer album from 2007. If the first single to its follow-up, Sensory is any indication, his newest will be a much more physical and visceral experience, favoring gut-wrenching bass and low-to-the-ground physics over flighty and experimental tangents. With two tracks from Sensory and an exclusive b-side, the Holographic EP presents an intriguing sound that leans closest to his Undine EP on Spectrum—something like minimal techno reinforced with 2010-era Drumcode abandon.
Where tracks like "Undine," or the considerably more maximal "Close Your Eyes" featured melody front and centre, melodies—or indeed any identifying characteristic—are instead buried deep in these tunes, submerged under a heady layer of convulsing low-end. "Danny Boy" is a prime example, with the elastic and primal bass taking prominence over thinned chords and percussion. The only real bits of melody come from samples that are stretched to sluggish extremes, where their long-winded elaboration becomes a substitution for progression.
This obscure aesthetic is furthered by the murky "Duh Dub," which doesn't even have those vocal samples going for it—just deeper and deeper bass. In comparison "Holographic" is positively technicolour, as an organ vies for centre stage with increasingly aggressive percussion, but the textures are still relegated to the extreme low and high, with a brittle and barely-there midrange. It's surprising to hear a producer move closer to minimal territory as it becomes less and less fashionable, but then again Joel Mull has never really swum with the current anyway.
03. Duh Dub