Livio & Roby - Moduri EP (Vakant) (out 7th Feb)
I really wanted to like this 12" - Vakant manage to put out so much great minimal and promote any number of excellent artists, you really hope each release will manage to be as individual and experimental as the others - but I'm finding myself left a little cold by this one. It's not that this is in any way a bad record, it just errs slightly too much on the reductionist, repetitive style of minimalism, without ever growing from it. Opener Hatzmoto Song builds up a rolling tech-funk structure, with freeform snare fills, deep sub-bass and a tight minimal groove before introducing ethereal woodwind riffs that meld and collapse. It's fun, but at nine minutes, grows quite repetitive, and feels a little listless. Moduri follows a much more 4/4 techno path, sounding like Alex Smoke's more straightforward moments blended with the shuffly rhythms of Sigha. Again though, it drags a little, and in the pursuit of a restrained, delicate pallette, Livio and Roby have removed too much of the accident, noise and chaos that makes techno vibrant and powerful. Closing the record is Resoftescu, a meandering nine minutes of robot-funk, gypsy rhythms and deep groove that comes across like Wrobag Ruhme reworking Sabbath's Planet Caravan. It's warm, spacious, and hints at great possibilities for future releases. Definitely worth keeping an eye on.