“Expert Tiger, Mediocre Troll” Review By Jazzyspoon
REVIEW of Expert Tiger Mediocre Troll , by JazzySpoon , October 2011
ALWAYS YOU – Great opener. The intro doesn’t come out in a raging hurry to hit heavy, but it instead sets the listener up for an intense audio journey. This is the elevator music playing on your ride down to the lowest levels of hell. Clever and subtle beat mangling and wispy arppegiated melodies, this was a very melancholy track.
Thoughtful and introspective, leaving you in a peaceful mood by it’s end. Really nice entry way into the hallways of this album.
DOMINO – First floor: Urbania. A power trip, punchy beat tribute to 2ndMouse’s hip hop roots, full of abstract mc flow cuts, psychedlic delay work, and spacious synth bass pads. This has a bit of a late 90′s trip hop feel mixed with more contemporary Glitch Hop drum work. A real head knodding groove.
ELEVATOR SUPERSENSE – 2nd floor down and now the energy starts to lift upward. A nice tweakers delight of techno rhythms, classy old school pre-house Detroit synth work, and robo vox. This is likely to turn the heads of the new era of techno-philes just now discovering the past works of Model 500 and Juan Atkin’s Cybortron.This track is only a little bit nostalgic, but by no means dated.
FERMINE – Hints of dub and glitch in the first few bars immediately peaked my interest, so I was floored when a techno bassline and glitch breaks came sailing in and lifted the energy up to another level. A groove not unlike something the Chemical Brothers may have conjured before they got into valium.This one ends shortly after it really gets going, but in the context of a DJ mix, this would be a real crowd pleaser.
GIVE MY REGARDS TO S.P.E.C.T.R.E. – Just when you thought you knew what might come next, a trip hop jazz/blues ballad surfaces. A late night, smokers delight with a sentimental attitude and pumping backdrop. This might go down as one of the singles of the CD. Sultry guitar leads, ambient pads, and a rhythmic swagger one might hope to find playing in a hash bar or late night chill room.Just beautiful.
GRACE – Continuing on with the ambient theme in the intro of GRACE, this might make people believe the albums arc is on it’s way down…hold onto your hats. The cinematic choral pads are only the intro to this dubstep/clubstep monsterI immediately recognize when my feet are being asked to get busy. Big Breakbeat Club Groove blissout breakfast sandwich. Out of context, this track might feel like the tension built by fills and dissonances never unleashes, but the DJ in me knows what this could do in the context of a mix.This track will likely spawn an amazing set of remixes, as there was a lot of places this could have gone.
HIDDEN in PLAIN SIGHT – A downtempo fed chill out track with expertly laid effects galore, but it still retains a childlike innocence to it’s mood. Wonderment and sound exploration. A childhood mobile of groove and sound design.
HOMELESS ONION Still going down towards the red creamy center of this CD, we have a big beat breaks track with an interesting house sensibility to it. This has club potential, but also has a boot stomping monster kick rhythm that keeps the head nodding.
ILIAD – I remember listening to an early work in progress of this track years ago on KVR and thinking: this is genius! The symphonic cuts turned into a hook are just wonderful and the sitar plucking is just the added dimension listening.This would have been a great ending track for the CD.
KINESIS – Wasting no time to establish itself, this track has a lot of energy and clever editing throughout. I found myself somewhat hypnotized by the vocal glitching and pounding 4/4, but this one really luanches into something that reminds me of Hybrid’s early work, but with some modern touches.This one will translate well to the up-tempo crowd at a party or even the cyclist looking to get pumped from his ipod soundtrack.
MACRONOVA – Both in title and rhythm, this one might go down as one of the slickest uptempo tracks of the CD. Slippery wet filter beats and pumping techno rhtythms laid over smooth arppegio’d melodies and jazz chior vocals. I found myself imagining that this might be what Technicolor records would release today.The mix is solid and the editing is clean as mountain snow.
NEMESIS – The kick in this track is like butterscotch liquer for the ears. The song is a cold, dark techno track with more of 2ndmouse’s stylistic soaking wet filter drums, but the white hot distorted kick is the star of this show. So much energy in there.
NUMERO – was pleasantly surprised to hear some vocals, even vocoded ones, on this CD. It really helped this track stand out among the other similar tracks on the CD. This one is sure to please in headphones and for any of the new school b-boys – this is your break anthem.There was enough vaoriety in the track to keep the listener entertained while still maintaining a solid central core.
SAVE ME – This track was a nice lull in the hyper beat path this second half of the CD has been riding for a while. An artful
downtempo and melancholy glitch hybrid that is really a great escapist track to play at the end of a hard day. The warped female vocal clips that occasionally chime in with “save me” are a perfect centerpiece.Another favorite of mine from this CD, as I tend to appreciate the more casual listen rather than the adrenaline pumping floor pleasers. Lovely track. This one might be worth owning the CD for alone.
SEVEN MILES OF WHITE SAND – Warped acid arps and pumping kicks announce this tracks intentions right away, it’s time to wake up and get moving again. After the gentle swoon of the last track, this emits a maddening atmosphere and freaky sonic soundscape, but the energy is undenyable and inescapable.
SHORT CIRCUIT – A chill out track with attitude, a pagan track with a German accent, a techno track with pop sensibility- Ulrich eat your heart out. This is a good track to play loud and had I arranged this CD, I may have put this one much earlier in the list. Great groove and the synths are very classy, this track is another single for the CD, imo.Solid tune.
SOLID STATE 2 – I actually had to look back across my review to make sure I hadn’t missed part 1 – I didn’t. Spooky arps and
industrialized vocal samples launch this one off into a solid, wholesome techno groove. DJ’s from one side of
I found this an odd note to end the CD on, but who listens to whole CD’s in one listen anymore anyways, right? It’s a good track, but ny now it unfortunatelty feels like more of the same, despite the fact that the bending and arping synths and drum work are amazing through out this track.
All in all, it’s a great collection of modern techno tracks an instant audience of club kids, new skool breakers, stoned chillers, and acid heads. The best advice would be to listen to the album on random, as a true arc or story is harder to find in the mood and atmosphere of the current track arrangement.
But each individual piece stands on it’s own merit well, and you really get your moneys worth on this CD in both quality and quantity.
2ndMouse has once again proven prolific and masterful and a real stand out in the techno/electronic music world.