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A Slave's Commitment


This is the debut full-length release from The Netherlands' Applescal. Even after releasing only one 12" on Traum, the label is confident that this young artist embodies the new wave in indie electronic dance music -- a hunch now given some weight after Applescal was voted "Producer of the Year" in his home country. On A Slave's Commitment, he combines melodic electronics and dance tracks with grunge, creating an almost live-band sound. There is a lot of explosive youthfulness here, reflecting newer heroes and influencers like Apparat and Extrawelt, rather than Richie Hawtin or Ricardo Villalobos. The CD starts off with the beautiful track "The History Of Love," making the world feel like it's twisting in slow-motion. "Nottingham Hobbits" transports and extends a similar emotion, whereas "Ugly But Nasty" introduces dirty acid bass lines, reminiscent of his Traum 12" track, "Monster." "In The Mirror" has a bit more of a band approach, sounding like The Cure, My Bloody Valentine or Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, and carrying a ghostly atmosphere with chords and feedback. "Music For Her Ears" is the ambient piece... a bit of a sad and melancholic track that somehow connects modern electronica with piano. "I Can't Stand" also works with ambience, but rocks away into a sort of a shuffle beat. "The Forms Of Abstract Life" is a masterpiece, intimately visualizing the beauty of flowers and nature. "The Red Dress" is a noise interlude -- psychedelic, alienated and strange. "Funk and FC" is a grinding acid track that starts quiet and works with a classic build-up, getting frantic and noisy. Applescal also remixed a track by the Dutch band Local Daddies, using the vocals and bass of the original and changing everything else around it, giving it a Portishead twist. The album closes with "Reeeer," a melodic and comic track that swallows everything in its path, like a colorful and happy/sad Aphex Twin.