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E/i Magazine

's latest hits (review)

Published: August 6, 2007
Tags: esc.rec.11, Press

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E/i magazine (www.ei-mag.com):

If the proposition had been made that audio/visual artist Roel Meelkop of all people (he of “strict” musique parallelists Goem, Kapotte Muzeik, and THU20, outcasts all) had the wherewithall to straighten up the rigid techno aristocracy in a couple fell swoops, those in attendance would have indulged in the time-honored tradition known as knee-slapping. The joke’s on them—as Slo-Fi, Meelkop hasn’t reinvented the wheel as such, but he’s sure as hell greased the treads and tightened the spokes. Slo-Fi’s first long-player, released on Staalplaat CDR sublabel Microwave, was a knotty filigree of squiggles, spangles and beads, the type of dry-as-Nevada, sparse minibeat tapestries that “parent” band Goem built its rep on.

‘S Latest Hits (hee hee) lets some welcome humidity into the grooves, but don’t underestimate Meelkop’s tenacity: all of the untitled tracks not only look for the perfect beat, they find it in spades. Track four’s galloping synths, viral bassline and wet-blanket of effects recall nothing less than the illegitimate offsping of mid-90s Cabaret Voltaire (notably International Language and The Conversation), its relentless, seesawing rhythm making for an ideal copy of dark House. As the corroded ping-pong bell tones underpinning track six’s post acid crash envelope your listening environment, suddenly it’s déjà vu all over again, the ghost of 1991 peeking out through 07’s covers, but Meelkop tweaks the formula so well the sensation feels utterly contemporary. Slo-Fi’s maxim bequeaths that everything old is, apparently, new again—if he keeps releasing stuff this good, Meelkop could conceivably quit his day job. Henke, Kirk and co. better watch their backs.

(DB)

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