by Bola


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Not a new album as such, Shapes is actually the re-release of three 12" singles from just after the time of Bola's debut, Soup, in the late '90s. That makes Shapes a bit of a long-distance equivalent to, say, Aphex Twin's Chosen Lords, but regardless of provenance what's striking about the disc is how well it works throughout -- in an era when IDM now seems almost totally played out on many fronts, Shapes actually has some heft and impact to it. Credit perhaps to the limitations of the original release and its format, designed for dancing as much as contemplation. The elegant opening cut, untitled like the rest of the songs, is a classic slow burn and build of a song, dark, almost industrial basslines providing the anchor for an increasingly hyperactive but never flat-out chaotic percussion montage, finally breaking into a sweetly serene concluding keyboard part. From there the original six tracks take their own individual but generally related turns, each suggesting uncannily what a jumbled-up cityscape from Blade Runner, Akira, and The Matrix would sound like if given plenty of supersheen. Standouts from the original singles include track three, with its contrasting descending bassline and ascending melody, both great examples of rapid-fire nervous tension, and the low-key klaxon pulse of the sixth cut. Three bonus songs flesh out the CD, the last two of which definitely follow on from the original release in terms of sound and approach, though the first is agreeably beat-heavy enough.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/26/2006
Label: Skam Uk
UPC: 0666017146621
catalogNumber: 20

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Bola   Primary Artist

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