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(Cadenza; US: 22 Jun 2010; UK: 14 Jun 2010)

Whether this was his intent or not, the first full-length release from Frank Heinrich’s Reboot project is neatly divided in two halves: one for the dancefloor, and one for the headphones.  Shunyata begins with a series of mid-to-high BPM, low-impact, minimalist tracks that fit right in on the Cadenza label thanks to the shifting presence of lots of toned percussion instruments.  These tracks are expertly and professionally produced. They’re slick, if not quite memorable.  The latter half of the album, however, goes in a different direction, layering not just rhythms on top of each other, but moods.  “Down Pantha” is a beautiful track with some fine vocal sampling that supplants the beauty with the sort of dread that can only be induced by the ominous sound of foghorns in the last couple of minutes.  The title track is a slippery thing, its only bit of atonal percussion comes in the form of its insistent hi-hat. Shunyata‘s closing song, “Sanchez Says”, makes brilliant use of sampled acoustic guitar strumming.  For an album with a title that means either “nothingness”, or “impermanence”, it’s surprisingly easy to pick apart; still, its willingness to cater to a wide spectrum of dance music fans through a split structure makes it particularly appealing.


Mike Schiller is a software engineer in Buffalo, NY who enjoys filling the free time he finds with media of any sort -- music, movies, and lately, video games. Stepping into the role of PopMatters Multimedia editor in 2006 after having written music and game reviews for two years previous, he has renewed his passion for gaming to levels not seen since his fondly-remembered college days of ethernet-enabled dorm rooms and all-night Goldeneye marathons. His three children unconditionally approve of their father's most recent set of obsessions.

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