CDR, Ainia Records, 2005
Get out the cocktail shaker and martini glasses, and dim the lights to a lo-fi glow before queuing up “Undolate” on the old Wurlitzer. Brief on content, this release from Finland’s Efermix includes tracks that infiltrate like undercover agents packing hidden agendas.
Reasonably described as ambient dub tweaked with lazy blues drums and soulful electronics, “Undolate” breathes syrupy bass timbres like wind moving through a grove of tall trees – airy and spacey, with a the-sky’s-the-limit mellow vibe. Whispering and wide-open, “G-Flat” begins the disc, but its breathless mood is soon overshadowed by a prickling, nimble piano that infuses the title track with paranoid undertones of something amiss down the rabbit hole. Efermix’s billowing basslines really take flight in “Brakback,” offering smooth-as-silk effluences backing tireless spring morning orchestrations. The cut-up, chaotic percussion and wildly veering instruments in “Tropaque” then mute this newfound, soaring euphoria with a reminder of unpredictable and fickle gusts. “Birdwalk” (at over six minutes the longest track) trips and falls flat with a sluggish amen break and looping low end that only serve to disappoint in the end, outliving their own repetitiveness by a few minutes. Finally, more attention could have been spared for the rough, sometimes abrupt, transitions between tracks otherwise intended to blend fluently on this too short release.
— Dutton Hauhart