Is the era of microtrance now upon us? It would seem the obvious evolution for trance, which has grown staid in the past couple of years, and it would be a good new subgenre for trance’s parent style, electronica. All of this labeling rhetoric is really so much splitting of hairs, though. Swiss DJs Crowdpleaser and St. Plomb bring us music, and that is all that matters. Whatever you want to call it, their sound is solidly grounded, yet fresh enough to earn the album its name of 2006. Minimal and esoterically funky, ambient but unrelaxing, with post-glitch clicks and nicks, the duo do to established boundaries what sound manipulators are meant to: they take the envelope and they stretch it to create something new. Mostly instrumental, Kate Wax delivers creepy (but still somehow sexy) vocals on “Cash on Time”, while Paris’s chant in the background of the Aphexy “Shift” could easily be mistaken for either a Budweiser frog or a Gyuto monk. A spare and cerebral album, your brain will be doing all the dancing, so your feet don’t have to. 2006 is headphone techno for today.
// Notes from the Road
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