CD-R, Soopa/Marvellous Tone, 2006
In this first installment of Kix Shake compilation, the combined forces of Portugal-based labels Soopa and Marvelous Tones showcase some of their roster in a mini compilation spanning not more than 20 minutes. To be precise, it’s actually 22 minutes, but the seventh track appears to be there for the amusement of the listeners, rather than actual listening. However, the other six tracks are most certainly not a laughing matter.
Starting off with a remix of hhy’s work by Tonkee, we see the two fourths of the artists behind the compilation, along with how music doesn’t require huge budgets and insane equipment to be good. The lo-fi bleeps of “baba” clash with the heavy and fast bass atop a frenzied drum pace, offering a musical mixture both energetic and coherent enough to be danceable. Ultimo’s “Micromachines” is the sole offering of this artist in volume 1 of Kix Shake, but it still works as a great display of musicmaking, with its clean and catchy sound, flowing nicely along a spectrum of high BPMs through some well placed pace changes. “Furlash” starts out as the weakest link in the compilation, mostly due to its randomness; however, somewhere in the middle, rhythmic chaos kicks in, redeeming the track to some extent. “XXX” begins in a deceptively mellow, albeit dark, tone and pace, right before erupting into high frequencies and BPMs. “Crawl, Wakakubali reliance” isn’t even that subtle, offering a pounding of noises, samples and garbled beats that would even make Aaron Funk giddy. Finally, Peter Stan’s “We Are…” is a bleepy, synth-ladden foray into breakcore with an extra serving of speed and punch.
Overall, while relatively short, this compilation works great as a teaser for anyone likely to be interested in some good experimental IDM and breaks, catching the ear as soon as the “play” button is pressed. Unexpectedly great work.
— George Mouratidis