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REVIEWS
Review by: van der Rohe
 
ARTIST: LEGION OF SPUNKY
SONG: SPUNK06
GENRE: ELECTRONIC / EXPERIMENTAL / IDM
SIMILAR: WARP ARTISTS
 
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Despite the myriad of confusing genre classifications, electronic tracks seem to sort themselves into two big metagenres. There’s the head-nodding music and the intellectual stuff. The head-nodding stuff also includes the music that’s clearly dance floor material, while the intellectual stuff just refers to music that doesn’t overtly groove. But occasionally, artists will fall into the cracks and offer up fare that borrows from both of these areas. Autechre comes to mind as music that can be both nodded to and sat back and thought about. It grooves, but covertly, rather than overtly. Legion of Spunky’s “Spunk06”, I’m happy to report, is this rare kind of music.

Built just as much from silence as from sound, “Spunk06” begins with the sort of bizarre noise elements that constitute much of the percussion work on Warp, for example. These elements slowly sort themselves into a kind of plodding (but not heavy-handed) groove that just barely tickles the surface of the sonic space. The first minute and half of the track consists entirely of this ungroove, with the occasional interruption of EXTREMELY quiet swirling high frequency sounds. By 1:30 some additional metallic percussion layers have entered, as well as an overtone sweeping that sounds somewhat like harp glissandi underwater. A minute later, a wonderful, slightly distorted buzzing sound begins flying around the space. The attention to panning detail here is fantastic, and the listener really has the sense of some sort of android bees coming to wreak havoc.

And that’s all there is. “Spunk06” is a study in simplicity and restraint. The patience needed to compose delicate music like this is beyond me, and it’s certainly beyond many listeners as well. But if you’re seeking a gentle, atmospheric experience that treats the space between sounds with as much care as the sounds themselves, look no further than this track.

Charisma: 8.50
Technical Skill: 8.00
Structure: 8.00
Interest: 8.50
Recording Quality: 8.00
Long Term Appeal: 8.00
OVERALL: 8.10

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