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ARTIST
TITLE
Beyond The Valley
FORMAT
CD

LABEL
CATALOG #
MOBILEE 005CD MOBILEE 005CD
GENRE
RELEASE DATE
6/10/2008

This is the debut full-length from Berlin-based Anja Schneider, founder of the Mobilee label, respected DJ and radio personality. Touring ceaselessly, Anja has travelled the globe, bringing the Mobilee vibe to clubbers around the world -- now she invites us to travel with her to an unfamiliar setting, Beyond The Valley. Co-produced with Paul Brtschitsch -- with whom she collaborated on the stunning 12" Loop de Mer -- Beyond The Valley is more than a collection of tracks, it's a rich, nuanced statement from an artist ready to open up new worlds and enchanted places where the old rules no longer apply. Titles like "Safari" and "Belize" suggest exoticism, but it goes beyond that: the record harnesses the spooky unknowing of the Brothers Grimm, Pan's Labyrinth, Little Red Riding Hood -- sounding not unlike what modern, city-dwelling mortals know as nightlife, a scene we recreate every weekend, with subwoofers instead of tunneling burrows and with waving arms rather than tree branches. Anja brings that pagan spirit to life in 10 inky, supple cuts. "Mole" sets the tone with tribal drums and snaky reverb trails. Guiros croak like frogs and flashes of melody dart away like salamanders. "Get Away" tiptoes into the shadows in the same way that a good DJ teases her audience over to the other side. But, there's plenty of abandon here as well: check "Little Red Riding Hood," with its urgent, cresting build-ups, or the starry-eyed submission of "Belize," which stakes out a jungle clearing where dancers revel until dawn. The bobbing "Fish At Night" wraps up the album with a new musical direction for Anja, where dubby half-stepping meets bubbling chords in the weightlessness of the deep. The album's title track represents its spiritual heart, where suave timbres temper the unremitting tension, and electronic frequencies fuse with the music of the human voice. Creeping forward on animal paws, you'd have to call it "jungle music," if the name weren't already taken. Whatever you make of this record -- as a sophisticated form of primitivism, or an ascendance of the animal inside all of us -- is up to you.