Murcof Utopia

Anyone in need of some fresh tech-house and soundscapes might want to take up some serious residency in Murcof’s Utopia — if they can stand sadness. It’s got all the clicks, cuts and atmospheric depths you could hope to hear in 75 minutes and, since it’s a compilation of remixes from Murcof’s debut, 2002’s Martes, and exclusive new tracks, there is no shortage of ideas or styles to sift through. The epic opening track, "Ulysses,” flows from synthesised string-scapes into ambient glitch territory before subsiding and re-emerging as a tight tech-house sleeper. Jan Jelinek’s remix of "Maiz” is an intriguing wall of sound that ebbs and sputters, as do Geoff White’s organic beats on his interpretation of "Mo.” For the most part, though, Utopia is a decidedly down-tempo affair that at times can’t seem to submerge itself from the sad and dramatic undertow it’s been sucked down by. But when Murcof and his remixers shine through, they do so brightly. (Leaf)