Artist: Maceo Plex
Title: Journey To Solar
Label: Ellum Audio
Release: 18th November 2016
Maceo Plex is one of those people who I garner a lot of inspiration from and an individual whose incredible sound has massively motivated me over the years. Eric returns as his most successful alias, Maceo Plex, with a fantastic warm up to his album ‘Solar’, which is set for release in Spring 2017. ‘Journey To Solar’ takes us through Maceo’s adventurous trip into the realm of electronic existence on his way to his destination of Solar and comes to his very own Ellum Audio imprint. We get things under way with that distinctive Maceo Plex sway. A 16th grid bass grinds away in the low end whilst melodic chimes give the track that wonderful melody packed brand of Techno that has been the driving force behind Maceo’s style. His blend of magical drum tones and emotionally rich elements are, once again, brought to life.
‘Traktion’ features some fantastic gated drums and some seriously gritty top line synths with the bass notes providing the emotional feel. The deep driven and stylistic percussion provide the thumping roll we have came to know from Maceo. ‘Love On Time’ chores to a modulating main synth. Again, we have that energetic 16th note bassline, rumbling away in the depths with huge, bright hats providing width in the high end. The track kind of has an 80’s influenced acid sound and will make for a serious mover on the dancefloor.
‘The Replicant’, which comes in two versions, one feeling slow and deep, the other, ‘Version 2’, feeling like it has been bumped up an octave, providing another layer of bliss. A seemingly random squelching synth becomes the mainline of the track whilst the Earth shattering frequencies of the kick drum provide a stunning low end. Strings and pads come in at various intervals to add a dark and mystifying melodic part that would be at home in a haunted setting.
The enthralling sounds generated in ‘Shoulder Of Orion’ held our attention and gripped our mind’s eye. The adventurous harmonies are paraded around whilst a swinging bongo provides a more House-oriented feel. Maceo’s use of effects in flowing motion stitch each part of the arrangement together like a flawless tapestry of musicality. We finish up on ‘Motor Rotor’. We can see where the track got it’s title from. The industrial sounding motorised bass is layered with huge reverb saturated pads and bright shakes. It’s one of those tracks that comes in and increases intensity to great effect.
I’m sure I can speak for us all when I say, Maceo’s ‘Solar’ album has me feeling more excited than I have been in a long time. It’s not since childhood in the days of HMV and pocket money that I have been this excited for an album launch! We thoroughly enjoyed the ‘Journey To Solar’, now we just have to wait to reach our destination.