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Canartic – Modulotion

Canartic – Modulotion

CD, Dank Disk, 2010

This guitar-based and electronic-backed offering of totally dubbed out and lathered down psychedelic downtempo from Canartic is everything an album name like “Modulotion” promises. Beginning with the title track, the release is at once breezy and rippling, crackling and glitchy, yet liquefied in a heady brew of smooth bass vibes. With the epic “Cleveland (Buzz)” as prime example, the dub and funk guitars that rule these ultra-slow motion numbers are buoyed by warm tones and orchestral shimmers, bubbling funnels of sound and trippy reverberations. It is, in short, a salve for the senses.
Much of “Modulotion” swims in this soup of melted bass flecked with flavors of jazz and funk, yet over the course of seven tracks Canartic’s subtle intuitions effectively banish any sense of sameness. Though song structures come across as similar, each breathes its own mix of elements so that, taken individually, the differences might as well be profound. The intoxicating atmosphere of “Spring Reverb”, backed by a warm symphonic buzz, is quite something else when placed alongside the syrup-drenched and spacey “Pod Bai”. The latter’s disembodied voices encourage imagery of long-haul space flight and the associated sensory deprivation. While aforementioned “Cleveland (Buzz)” leans toward funky and loose, “Aux 1” is a masterful but sedate jaunt into the fringes of paranoia, employing dense passages and a feverish, amped-up guitar. One could say that “Hueman”, on the other hand, is downright seductive, its jazz overtones mixing with honeyed bass to form a potent and sensual cocktail.
Though the bass that permeates this album might as well be a weapons-grade sedative, there exists just enough glitch in the electronics on “Modulotion” to keep the senses prickling; loose circuits popping on and off, little reminders that floating in a purple haze is always more interesting with a bit of unexpected texture. Canartic’s casual and grooving sound, free from formality and expectation, lets the listener pick the destination, but with just one caveat – sit back and relax.


— Dutton Hauhart

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