Donnacha Costello

Colorseries

by Dominic Umile

8 January 2008

 

Issued on his own label in 2004, a ten-12” series from Irish techno producer Donnacha Costello garnered critical praise for its shimmering, vigorous synth stabs and often barely-there percussion. Colorseries finds edited and remastered favorites of Costello’s from his four-year-old multi-sectioned missive of the same name in one place, with some unreleased recordings dating back to the original sessions. Costello’s Colorseries productions are minimal and lovingly simple; they’re both home-listening-styled and floor-centered, and peppered intermittently with new phrases just as each triplet of keys approaches wear (see “Rubine Red B CD edit”). Relying largely on analog equipment, Costello built beats for his experiment on Akai MPCs and leaned on Roland and Juno synths for the washes and accompanying sonic flecks. Computers entered the equation for programming and for chopping the core elements up, but contrary to the herd that finds sounds by way of software, Costello wrote the individual pieces on the machines first. The understandable surface relationship between Colorseries and Geogaddi, the official sophomore LP from analog-obsessed Boards of Canada, materializes late in Costello’s compilation just as it had in the original series. “Cocoa B (CD edit)” capped the final 12” off in 2004 with a beatless set of swirling keyboard tones—one after the other piled on top of a singular wash loop—while its subsequent unreleased entry, also from the “Cocoa” sessions, travels BOC’s sounds with bass warble and faux woodwinds toward its close. In considering the range of this collection, a peek back to the record crates check out what didn’t make Costello’s cut might be in order.

Colorseries

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