CD, Hive Records, 2004
Two years after his debut album “Compuglobalhypermeganet”, released on the German label Fleisskoma, “Shazbut!”, Tekniq’s sophomore effort sees the light of the day via a release in the American label Hive Records. I must confess that something like “Shazbut!” was one of the last things I’d expect from Hive Records. Which only goes to show that one should learn to expect the unexpected at all times. But it was a very pleasant surprise nevertheless.
Musically, I find this album to be very reminiscent of Bill Laswell’s work. Very laidback, “Shazbut!” seems to have some roots in dub and frequently crosses over to trip-hop never fully exploring any of these musical styles. Tekniq’s Mike Savelli doesn’t allow himself to be ‘rooted to the spot’ and, by taking bits and pieces here and there (a touch of Ambient, a bit of Glitch, a dash of IDM) and mixing them with surgical precision, creates a sophisticated and interesting musical cocktail. “Shazbut!” is not a ground-breaking piece of work and may seem somewhat lacking in depth but the end result is quite competent and very enjoyable. Indeed, the strength of this album lies not in creating something new but rather in the choice of known ingredients and the skill with which they are combined.
Random as this may seem, in terms of individual tracks, “Airport”, “Minty Tasty”, “Very Untitled”, “Superfect” caught my attention on occasion for a reason or another. As for the bonus remix track I’d consider it a fresh track by Displacer rather than just a remix of “Rockstrongo” but, nevertheless, it flows with the rest of the album and is an apt closing to it.
If “Shazbut!” had arrived a few weeks before it did, it quite probably would have been one of the musical choices for my (few) leisurely summer evenings. For those that have that kind of tendency, the music in “Shazbut!” is a clear incitation to prepare one’s cold drink of choice (preferably alcoholic), grab a lawn chair (or something of the sort) and go to the terrace/balcony and sit down and idly relax a very warm summer evening away.
Should you need your music to be loud and always on the edge then this album is almost certainly not for you. If, on the other hand, you can sit down, relax and see the world go by then “Shazbut!” might just be your cup of tea (or glass of cocktail).
— Miguel de Sousa