2CD, Hymen Records, 2011
From the opening moments of “Frosd”, you can feel the energy present within Daniel Kosneko’s latest offering under the Slew52 moniker. Appropriately released via Hymen records, “Catalog” stands true to the label’s focus on complex electronic sounds.
In what is a two-disc affair, Slew52 decided to opt for a two-sided approach, decidedly separating the first disc’s more energetic material from the ambient work that occupies the second. I am inclined to say that the concept works, as long as the two discs aren’t played in direct succession.
To elaborate, the eleven tracks found on the first disc are enough to please anyone craving good electronic music, provided you don’t mind the smattering of genres. Starting from the very classic “Frosd” to the dubstep musings of “Fake French Rap”, the accessibility displayed is on par with the complexity of the more glitchy and IDM-themed tracks like “Klomofz” and “Bedintruder”, while the almost Prodigy-esque “Fuzkysolo” reaffirms the talent and diversity present in the album. The two remixes that contribute to the one hour running length of the first disc are somewhat less intriguing; Slew52’s dubstep edit on Donna Summer’s “RockRockRock” almost sounds uninspired compared to both the remix of Kratzen’s “Cklub Ckaos” and the previous tracks.
The second disc, displaying Slew52’s foray into ambient work, is sadly much less becoming. The contrast between the two discs unfortunately extends beyond the rhythm and strength of the tracks on offer, making most of the ambient side sound bland and, at times, simplistic, especially in comparison with the skill displayed in the first half of “Catalog”. While not distinctly bad, some of the tracks border on the lower scale of indifferent, due to their length and lack of buildup and releases. The two most notable offenders are “Caramel” and “Eyesofear”. It is of note, however, that the shorter tracks, such as “Genu” and “Kloma”, have a much more interesting hue and significantly better focus than their overstretched companions.
Overall, “Catalog” is a fine album, as long as the second disc is considered as bonus material, a glance into a different side of the artist but not an integral part of the record.
— George Mouratidis