Published Nov 17, 2014A year after the release of the debut album from Toronto's Christian "XI" Andersen and Berlin's Adam Marshall's Graze project, the duo return to Marshall's New Kanada label with Soft Gamma Repeater. Narrowing in on the core elements that underpinned the Juno-nominated duo's early EPs and their debut, Edges, Soft Gamma Repeater allows Andersen and Marshall more space to explore within the new boundaries they helped define, without sacrificing any of the results. Tracks like the broken-beat, drum-heavy workout on "Swarz" or the stripped back, dark-tinged "Antnna" are both deep and deliberate, reinforcing the duo's ethos towards outsider house, bass-addled techno and leftfield excursions.
Shrouded in clouded chord stabs, murky sub-bass tones, nickel-plated snares, sharp hi-hats, juddering rhythms and cascading claps, Graze may have fine-tuned their sound, but that doesn't mean the duo's vision is any less grand. Cuts like "Banding," with its hypnotic chords and moody undertones, and "Gneiss," which is driven by a shape-shifting hi-hat pattern and a shadowy bass line that swallows up everything in its path, continue to show how Andersen and Marshall are cross-pollinating the influences that each of them draw from, making it increasingly difficult to differentiate which producer is bringing what to the table. Soft Gamma Repeater feels like a natural progression from Edges, but that doesn't take away from the impact of Graze's sophomore album. (New Kanada)