Bill Van Loo

Chromedecay Tracks: 1996-2001

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An album title like Chromedecay Tracks 1996-2001 and back-to-back tracks called "FM Study 1.5." and "FM Study (Grain Edit)" lead one to believe that there could be some extreme Chain Reaction/Basic Channel piety going on in the knob-twiddling done by Detroit-area up-and-comer Bill Van Loo. Like those Berlin-based labels, Van Loo either immerses his productions in dub or fiddles with the form, attenuating its production tricks (reverberant rhythms, deep tones, hallucinatory textures) and applying them to what -- at base -- are minimal techno structures. Van Loo's thinly veiled allusions to Berlin dub have much more to do with inspiration than emulation or a ham-fisted attempt at replicating a golden age. Generally speaking, these tracks are more ornate and less repetitive than anything delivered by the Berlin dub massive, all the while thriving on ultra-heady hypnotics and rather stupefying pulsations. "An Introduction" is one of the better examples of this, as it begins with a sessile float that winds into a muffled beat and an unsettling array of isolationist vapors. While there's something tangible separating each track from the next, the undeniable apex is the aforementioned "FM Study 1.5." An amalgamation of a nocturnal Carl Craig-worthy groove and some wobbly synth FX, this track alone should be more than enough to cement Van Loo's status as a gifted producer who knows how to stimulate the brain as well as the hip. (www.chromedecay.org.)

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