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ARTIST
TITLE
Undertone
FORMAT
CD

LABEL
CATALOG #
MEAN 009CD MEAN 009CD
GENRE
RELEASE DATE
12/11/2007

2007 has been a year defined by the imperceptible merging of dub and techno, and the UK's Murmur land with a debut album sure to connect on every level of this musical and cultural phenomenon. The submerged hip-hop-tinged swaying of "Pansula" starts off proceedings in fine form, bringing to mind Detroit at its best, but before long, the album is whisked onto a plane, flown half way around the world and dropped straight into the heart of Berlin, where this detailed and glorious sound design really belongs. "Mesh" could almost be the sound of a synth factory being flooded; every echo dissipating into layers of murky liquid, never to be found again. By the fourth track, "Flex," the water has settled and the soiled, grey walls of a warehouse loom over an after-after-party dancefloor where tired feet are revitalized and rejuvenated until the crowd throbs in unison. As "Bloodclot" trickles from your speakers and into the inner coils of your ears, comparisons to Basic Channel are inevitable. But this isn't some idle rehash of the past -- Murmur belong to a new breed of techno connoisseurs, leading the way with other less-is-more pioneers: think fondly of recent amazing output from the DeepChord axis, Scion Versions or the Styrax family -- artists such as Redshape, Sven Weisemann or Quantec, all showing increasing empathy with the Murmur sound. There's a massive emotional pull in this music, nestled between an obsessive love of analog hardware and an intuitive knowledge of what can make a track work both on the floor and as a repeat soundtrack to many a late-night headphone session. As all around us, "dance" artists are making steps into album territory with varying degrees of success, Murmur (and Meanwhile) show how it should be done. With Undertone, Christmas comes early for the dub-techno faithful.