Published Oct 16, 2015Stuart Li, the man behind Basic Soul Unit, has been releasing tracks regularly for over a decade, only finally putting out a full release in 2012. His sophomore LP, Under The Same Sky, cements his reputation as a musician obsessed with the vibrant richness one finds in small details.
Under the Same Sky is a rewarding listen characterized by a generous portion of thumping, woofer-busting bass and vigorous, industrial beats; there's a persistent feeling here of being lost in a mechanical utopia. Twinkling through the exposed, industrial-piped roof of Li's compositions, however, are subtle flickers of human endeavour that challenge simplistic summary. The resonant analog drum hiss on "Until The End Comes," the splintered looping scream on "Temptress" and the drum machine taps bustling to life on "Fate in Hand" all demonstrate Li's restrained, humanizing touches.
Replaying Under The Same Sky enough times reveals balanced interplay between heavy warehouse techno and increasingly noticeable individual craft. Such harmony requires such a fine balance that the album constantly seems on the verge of disruption as its oft-frantic mood allows us to feel like escapees in some dystopian future-based film; on Basic Soul Unit's second LP, Li pulls it off with aplomb. (Dekmantel)