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Artist: Xenofish
Title: Encoder
Label: Self Released
Date: May, 2013

01 - Xenofish - Sigma (146 BPM)
02 - Xenofish - Leviathan (145 BPM)
03 - Xenofish - Discharge (176 BPM)
04 - Xenofish - Ziggurat (146 BPM)
05 - Xenofish - Mashiro's Dream (155 BPM)
06 - Xenofish - Logfile (97 BPM)
07 - Cybernetika - Pulsar (feat. Xenofish) (141 BPM)
08 - Xenofish - Blurred Matrix (83 BPM)

This is the debut album from Christian Becker and it is an offering of different styles while running with a sci-fi/technology theme.  It sounds very clear and I will tell you it is fairly intense.  He eases us into things with the benign Sigma, a track with a nice breakbeat, but pretty forgettable.  Leviathan is a somewhat harder full-on track with a very nice break that becomes more lush the longer it goes on.  Discharge brings us our first taste of drum n bass and it is massive.  Walls of electronic sound puncture the atmosphere with the high tempo calling card of this style.  Again, Christian's break work is a highlight of the track with the dynamic give and take of all the elements.  The track is constantly evolving, even slowing down to a mid tempo swagger briefly before erupting.  Easily my favorite.

Ziggurat is a lush, cosmic journey feeling warm and cold at the same time.  The electronics vibrate as if alive and it instantly draws me in.  Same with the beginning of Mashiro's Dream as he has fun with the cut-off knob.  Decent, but not as cool as the previous two.  Logfile is interesting because it's glitchy, noisy, nonsense sound is how I believe a computer would create music without instruction.  Even though it is itself amusical, it fits right in with the theme.  The team-up with Cybernetika is a treat and his influence is readily visible with a more melodic flair.  Perhaps the machines last gasp, their final attempt to subvert the humans.  The final track is an atmospheric ambient aftermath as docile as the previous tracks were unyielding.  The battle is over and all that remains is to rebuild.

It's a wonderful debut album.  Full of varied styles with electronic fire and storytelling breaks.  Very futuristic with excellent production.  Highly recommended!

Free at Ektoplazm

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