Ekoplekz

Bioprodukt

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AllMusic Review by

Nick Edwards has released dozens of albums and EPs as Ekoplekz (among other pseudonyms), but the ones that come out on Planet Mu tend to feature his most accessible material. On 2017's Bioprodukt, he significantly dials down the tape hiss and industrial sludge from his sound and focuses on sparse, steady rhythms and faintly rippling melodies. Albums such as Four Track Mind and Reflekzionz cleverly alluded to '90s Aphex Twin and ยต-ziq as much as they recalled Cabaret Voltaire and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, and with Bioprodukt, Edwards echoes early U.K. acid house artists like 808 State and LFO. This is not anywhere close to rave music, however -- tracks like "Slipstream" contain subtle, muted melodies and basslines recalling the early '90s heyday of bleep techno, but it's reserved rather than "In Yer Face" (as 808 State put it). Tracks like opener "Elevation" have crunchy machine rhythms which would've fit perfectly on an early Rephlex release, but Edwards seems more overtly inspired by classic dub, and the lo-fi production techniques of '70s and '80s Jamaican music in general. "Acrid Acid" vaguely sounds like a broken late-'80s dancehall rhythm, even if its title is potentially an Aphex Twin reference. Swirling echo effects are rarely absent from his productions, making it seem like something's dripping from the walls and ceiling of his studio at all times. Highlights such as "Consequences" and "Descent" are anchored by a bass-heavy midtempo kick drum, with detached keyboard notes occasionally drifting out over the floating orbs of wet, trickling pulsations caught in the mix. The album's final pieces are less tethered to rhythm, with the hushed, lonely "Denier Daze" bringing back the cloudy haze Ekoplekz is normally known for. As with all of his releases, this is a fantastic, highly creative set which maintains the recognizable Ekoplekz sound while still sounding new and different.

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