Technimatic – Better Perspective LP
Words by Robin Murray
Since Technicolour and Komatic joined forced to form Technimatic, they have cemented themselves in the cluster of producers I can nearly always rely on to deliver the goods with their sonic offerings. Watching their rise to fame has been a pleasure for two reasons; they make brilliant music and they’re very likeable chaps who deserve all the success they get. ‘Desire Paths’, their debut album, was a predictable success with a handful of tunes from it still doing the business two years on. This then, being their sophomore LP, was the notoriously ‘tricky’ one; the album which has tripped up countless musicians in the past.
The ‘tricky second’ kicks off with ‘Introduction’, a cinematic opener featuring the feint sound of a door being opened and two people walking down a flight of stairs. Perhaps it’s Pete and Andy entering their studio for the first time in the process of writing the album? Perhaps I’m reading too much into it. Either way, it’s an intriguing opener which concludes with a thought-provoking monologue from a sage sounding man. “No matter how involved we are with our loved ones, there comes a time where we have to get away by ourselves”, he says. Before we’ve had time to reflect on his philosophical spiel, we’re launched into ‘Better Perspective’. It’s clear from both the opener and this, the title track, that this is Technimatic at their most reflective and pensive. Similarly to the introduction, profound lyrics sit on the top of track number two, as Jinadu asks us to rescue him and show him “that secret place where hidden love is found.” It’s a very nice, well-produced track which follows on nicely from the intro and features a killer bassline.
After ‘Parallel’, another vocal-led track in a similar vein to the title track, featuring up-and-coming Zara Kershaw, comes the first ‘dance floor’ track of the album in the shape of ‘Clockwise’. This, for me, is the area in which Technimatic flourish the most; music so euphoric, uplifting and groovy it would force even the most reluctant listener at least muster a head nod (see ‘Night Vision’, ‘The Evening Loop’ etc…). I can see Clockwise having a similar impact to the aforementioned ‘Night Vision’ in clubs and festivals over the summer.
Things instantly simmer down again after ‘Clockwise’ with a collab featuring Lucy Kitchen. ‘Looking For Diversion’, featuring the dulcet tones of Kitchen, was my favourite track from ‘Desire Paths’ – one of my favourite tracks from the whole of 2014, in fact, so expectations were very high for this one as they rejoined forces. Alas, while being a stunning collab, it doesn’t quite have the same magic as ‘Looking For Diversion’, but when you’ve set the bar so high, it’s always going to be very difficult to reach. It was just ‘Out of Reach’ of matching the brilliance of their debut effort, you could say, if you wanted to try and be clever and witty in an attempt to make a piece of writing sound marginally more interesting…
‘Antihero’ is another display of Technimatic at their finest but ‘Problems’, conversely, is arguably the album’s weakest track thanks to a pretty irritating vocal which wouldn’t sound too out of place on daytime radio. It certainly doesn’t sound like Technimatic, which is probably why it doesn’t float my boat. Things then get pretty experimental on ‘Leave It Unsaid’ and ‘We Look For Patterns’; the former being a brooding, atmospheric builder, the latter even more so. Both have things to like about them, particularly ‘We Look For Patterns’ which, similarly to ‘Introduction’, has an ethereal, cinematic feel to it. If drum & bass ever becomes obsolete, Technimatic would have no problems laying down a soundtrack to an American blockbuster; testament to their musical nous and diversity.
‘Leave It Unsaid’ and ‘We Look For Patterns’ back-to-back contribute towards a bit of a mid-album breather, which is perhaps purposefully included to lull us into a false sense of security before the hard-hitting, break-laden ‘Trigger Warning’ gets things moving again with a bang. It’s one of the album’s stand-out efforts and an example of Technimatic at their grittiest. ‘This is very heavy’ warns the vocal sample before the drop kicks in. He’s not shitting us. It’s a four-minute tour-de-force of all of our favourite breaks and drum samples thrown together for devastating effect.
‘Cold Shoulder’ once again flaunts the duo’s diversity; a minimal effort which is slightly tarnished by the vocal sample. The chopped up ‘I cry’ sample somewhat ruins the build-up and feels a tad unnecessary. ‘Hold on a While’, which follows, features Jono McCleery and rivals ‘Better Perspective’ for the best vocal-led track on the album. As someone who generally prefers drum & bass tracks to come without vocals, this one took a few listens to get on board with, but Jono McCleery’s voice does suit the instrumental to a tee, admittedly.
The album finishes very strongly with ‘Abseil’ and ‘Side Hustle’ (once the pretty forgettable ‘It Must Be’ is out of the way) which both remind us that Technimatic are some of the best in the business at producing dance-floor targeted liquid drum & bass. I personally think 18 songs is a bit excessive for an album no matter what genre and a few tracks on ‘Better Perspective’ could possibly have been scrapped from the final cut, but there’s still an awful lot to like about it. Tracks such as ‘Clockwise’, ‘Antihero’, ‘Trigger Warning’ and ‘Side Hustle’ are Technimatic at their finest and remind me, along with plenty others, why they feature in the sacred cluster of the genre’s most accomplished, reliable producers.
Better Perspective is out now on Shogun Audio, and you can pick it up by clicking here.