Mikkel Metal Peaks and Troughs

Mikkel Metal Peaks and Troughs
Echocord is a perfect fit for Mikkel Metal. Formerly operating at the fringe of the Kompakt label, Metal's Basic Channel-inspired digital dub is perfectly matched to his new label. Paul St. Hilaire is an unsurprising yet wonderful choice to contribute uplifting vocals on four tracks, which pace the more contemplative instrumentals well. There are more than a few new wrinkles on the Basic Channel sound, adding more layers onto an otherwise minimalist sound. These songs often turn away from the dance floor, eschewing bass lines and even bass frequencies for many minutes at a time. However, the timbral shifts in reverb settings (is this what techno has come to?) are engrossing on their own terms. Just when it sounds like the subtle shades are about to run their course, another stirring St. Hilaire vocal enlivens things, and even gets up to a blood pulsing groove on "Visions of Life." Metal handles vocals on his closing statement, the near-anthemic title track. This is no major triumph but will be welcomed by fans of this sound. (Echocord)